Geothermal energy is one of the most crucial energy sources that exist today. Apart from being the oldest, it remains relevant today as we move to a sustainable future.
Utilizing geothermal energy might be a complex process, but it does not take away its importance and abundance on Earth.
We all are familiar with the concept of renewable resources; they are such sources that can be replenished and are easily found in our environment naturally.
Some examples are solar energy, wind energy, etc.
Whether geothermal energy is to be considered a renewable resource is a question that many curious minds have.
In this article, we would be studying geothermal energy, its importance, and usage and deal with the question – of whether it is a renewable resource.
What is Geothermal Energy?
In simple words, geothermal energy is nothing but energy that is extracted from the core of the Earth. You must have read about it in the science class at your school.
The Earth has many different layers, and amongst these, geothermal energy is taken from inside it. The energy that is generated in form of heat is considered to be geothermal energy.
As the name suggests, you might be able to guess, geo relates to the earth and thermal relates to heat.
Thus, when the Earth was being formed, the heat that was generated is utilized as energy.
Geothermal energy is usually stored in the rocks and materials found on the Earth.
Due to temperature variations, the heat moves from the center to the outside of the Earth.
The temperature inside the Earth can easily reach up to a few hundred Celsius to a few thousand degrees Celsius.
The amount of heat thus generated, melts rocks and Earth materials, leading to the formation of heated liquids or magma.
The use of geothermal energy is considerably varied. It is often utilized for heating or cooking.
Several researchers have suggested that by using pumps, a natural heating mechanism can also be created. Manually, the geothermal energy is extracted using drilling deep inside the Earth.
This helps in reaching the deep reservoirs of energy that are extracted using generators and hydraulics.
In essence, it is believed that geothermal energy is one of the oldest forms of energy that was discovered on Earth and utilized in our daily life.
Since it is naturally found, it is relatively cheaper and available in abundance. However, as the world is shifting towards renewable sources of energy, it becomes essential to know whether geothermal energy is a renewable resource.
Is Geothermal Energy a Renewable Resource?
Since Geothermal energy is available in such abundance, it is almost free and easy to find which can be considered endless as well.
One of the essential reasons why geothermal can be considered a renewable resource is because its main constituents are nothing but heat and materials found naturally on Earth.
Thus, even after these decompose or are consumed, the energy is not lost.
The biggest advantage of geothermal energy is that it can easily be found anywhere. It has the least restrictions in terms of availability and power.
Geothermal energy is also found to be emitting lesser amounts of toxic gases or contributing to pollution. Which is why it is a favorable energy source.
It is believed that geothermal energy can be a positive contribution to ensuring that climate change does not affect our energy sources to a large extent.
By switching to renewable sources of energy, we are not only reducing the burden on our Earth and its raw materials but also ensuring that we are building a sustainable future.
Now, you know that geothermal energy is indeed a renewable resource, let us now understand why is it considered to be so.
Why is Geothermal Energy Considered a Renewable Resource?
So far, we have learned about what geothermal energy is and also whether geothermal energy is a renewable resource or not, let us now dive deep into the reasons why geothermal energy is considered to be a renewable resource.
One of the biggest reasons why geothermal energy is considered to be renewable possibly lies in the fact that when the Earth was being formed, there were emissions and containment of large amounts of heat.
This heat was stored in the form of energy inside the Earth. Since the Earth has several layers, the heat was stored inside the layers in descending order.
It means, the inner and outer core store the most amount of heat and thus energy as well. Further, the mantle and crust contain a lesser amount of heat relatively.
The presence of such a large amount of heat energy helps the decaying of several Earthly elements and compounds. This helps the carrying on of volcanoes and conduction in the atmosphere and various terrains of Earth.
However, you do not have to reach the core of the Earth to access geothermal energy.
As we discussed earlier, there are several layers of Earth and geothermal energy is trapped in all of these layers.
At a smaller level, the geothermal energy found in the upper layers of the Earth can help to make heat pumps or hot springs as well as in producing electricity.
Therefore, in this article, we learned about renewable resources and also learned at length about one of the most important renewable resources – geothermal energy.
Although geothermal energy is available in abundance today, it is not ideal to solely rely on it for the sake of meeting the global energy requirement.
This is why, we observe that in the world today, many countries are also looking at alternatives for energy sources.
For instance, many developing countries are considering hydrogen as a fuel and energy source, since it is a clean energy source and all the by-products created in its extraction can be utilized for industrial purposes.
Apart from hydrogen, countries are pacing towards making solar energy a common alternative to electricity and also providing incentives for the same.
With the advancement of renewable sources around us, the Earth would become a better place in no time.