Geothermal Energy, Pros & Cons

Renewable energy, renewables, geothermal energy, climate changeGeothermal energy is generally considered environmentally friendly. There are a few polluting aspects of harnessing geothermal energy, but these are minor compared to the pollution associated with conventional fuel sources (e.g. coal, fossil fuels).

The carbon footprint of a geothermal power plant is minimal. 

Further development of our geo resources is considered helpful in the fight against global warming.

An average geothermal power plant releases the equivalent of 122 kg CO2 for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity it generates – one eight of the carbon emissions associated with a typical coal power plant.

Geothermal: Massive Potential

Worldwide energy consumption – about 15 terawatts (TW) – is not anywhere near the amount of energy stored in earth. However, most  reservoirs are not profitable and we can only utilize a small portion of the total potential. Realistic estimates for the potential of geothermal power plants vary between 0.035 to 2 TW.


  1. environmentally friendly
  2. no significant amounts of pollution
  3. geothermal reservoirs are naturally replenished and therefore renewable
  4. massive potential
    worldwide potential of 2 terawatts
  5. excellent for meeting the base load energy demand because it’s a constant energy source (wind and solar depend on wind and solar)
  6. also beneficial for small houses
  7. harnessing the geo energy does not involve any fuels
  8. mostly underground
  9. enhanced systems have made more resources exploitable and lowered costs.


  1. some minor environmental issues
  2. geo thermal power plants can in extreme cases cause earthquakes
  3. heavy upfront costs associated with both geothermal power plants and geothermal heating/cooling systems
  4. location specific (most resources are simply not cost-competitive)
  5. the power is only sustainable (renewable) if the reservoirs are properly managed

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