Essay about Geothermal Power Plants

Submitted By tantin27
Words: 1643
Pages: 7

GEOTHERMAL ENERGY
Energy. What is energy? What is the energy of the future? That seems to be the current debate among many researchers, scientists, as well as the former candidates of the 2012 election. People have debated over the types of energy use for many years. They have formed many opinions for all the different types of energy: solar, wave, geothermal, nuclear, wind, biomass, and hydroelectric. These different energy sources all have their advantages and disadvantages. I believe that the government should invest in geothermal energy. Geothermal energy has been used by people thousands of years ago. That all began with the Romans who used hot springs as bath houses (Morris 12). Native North Americans believed that the hot springs had healing powers. In fact, a good bath would relieve aches, pains, and diseases (Gleason 20). Geothermal energy, being a renewable and sustainable resource, usually does not run out (Langwith 20). She also mentioned that geothermal energy uses a renewable process of moving water and heat from beneath the Earth without using fossil fuels (20). The geothermal power plants that we use today utilize Earth’s heat to create electricity (Gleason 16). Energy is found deep in the Earth in the form of steam that comes from geysers and thermal springs, naturally heated water, and rocks that touch magma deep beneath Earth’s soil provide this type of source (10). According to Gleason, there are about five hundred geysers in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. In addition, there are also geysers in Alaska, Nevada, California, and Oregon (10). Geothermal energy works to create electricity by converting the energy in gases or liquids into the electricity we use. First, the steam powers the blades of the turbine located in the middle of the power plant. Then, the blades’ motion cause the shaft between them to rotate. Next, the shaft then connects to the generator, where it is encompassed by coiled wires. When the shaft rotates, it creates and electromagnet, which creates and electric current. Lastly, that electric current is then sent to homes and businesses (16). A website, written by The International Energy Agency, stated: “In Iceland, where there are favorable geologic conditions and efficient hot water distribution networks, 88% of all households get their heat from geothermal energy.” The geothermal power production in the U.S. today provides enough electricity to meet the electricity needs of about 2.4 million California households. In California, the state with the largest amount of geothermal power on line, electricity from geothermal resources accounted for 5 percent of the state’s electricity generation in 2003 on a per kilowatt hour basis (Geothermal Energy Association, “Geothermal Basics”). Consequently, the article also stated that geothermal is the largest non-hydro renewable energy source in the state, significantly exceeding the contribution of wind and solar combined. “As of August 2008, almost 4,000 MW of new geothermal power plant capacity was under development in the U.S. (this includes projects in the initial development phases). Those states with projects currently under consideration or development are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.Combined, these states have approximately 103 projects in development ranging from initial to advanced stages.” (Geothermal Energy Association, “Geothermal Basics”).
R.P. Siegel, writer of an article from triplepundit.com, announced that geothermal energy is a good choice to invest in because it is a renewable resource. “The amount of thermal energy contained in the Earth’s crust is enormous. Experts estimate it at an equivalent of 79 million billion barrels of oil, or roughly 15,000 times more than estimated worldwide oil reserves. And unlike oil, much of that heat is continually replenished. The hydrothermal resource base (found in hot springs, etc.)…