Geothermal Energy Advantages and Disadvantages





There are many advantages of geothermal power, primarily the low to zero emissions and renewable energy source it uses. However these don’t come without significant drawbacks such as high initial investment for construction and potential geological changes.

Below is a video covering the benefits of geothermal energy in more detail.

What are the advantages of geothermal energy?

  • Requires no fuel and is emissions free.
  • Capacity factor is quite large as energy source is constant.
  • Sustainable energy as heat extraction is quite small.
  • Very small amount of land usage required.
  • Highly scalable and viable for many locations (including residential installs).

What are the disadvantages of geothermal energy?

  • Utility scale plants can possibly create small Earthquakes.
  • Geothermal power fluid is corrosive (binary cycle).
  • Location may eventually cool down temporarily.
  • Fluid is at low temperatures limiting heat engine efficiency.
  • May emit low levels of carbon dioxide and sulfur which was trapped below surface.
  • Higher upfront construction costs than conventional (coal, etc) energy.

Many of these negatives are only disadvantages of geothermal power plants and residential or even small industrial scale installations have almost no negatives besides installation cost. As governments around the world continue to set renewable energy mandates and targets geothermal installations will likely become more attractive due to tax incentives or subsidization of the industry.

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