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Research

1) What is it? /Description a) Heat from the Earth b) Safe and Sustainable c) Classified as a green energy which means that it can be generated, consumed, or extracted without any negative impact to the society i) produces little or if any water and air pollution (Lerner) d) Associated with active or recent volcanism in an area e) Help free the country of the grievous environmental burden of coal-burning power plants i) If it is done wrong(process), it can create grievous environmental problems of its own f) There are three general types of geothermal energy i) hot stream ii) wet stream iii) dry stream 2) Process a) Water is injected deep into the earth (sedimentary rocks are the easiest to drill into) where it absorbs heat from the surrounding rock. As the fluid returns to the surface, the heat is used to generate electricity. The fluid is then re-injected. The system forms a closed loop. It creates almost no emissions and is entirely renewable. It also occupies a smaller surface area than either solar or wind power. (NewYork Times) 3) Iceland a) Uses geothermal energy as it’s main source of energy for the whole island b) Located along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (Wendell and John) i) a divergent plate boundary c) Uses geothermal energy to the extent that, together with hydropower, they are able to supply electricity and heat to the entire island (Wendell and John). i) independent of fossil fuel except as an automobile fuel d) Used to be dependent on peat and imported coal for its energy (Orkustofnun) e) 84% of the energy used in 2011, was mainly derived indigenous renewable resources (Orkustofnun) i) 66% of the energy was geothermal energy 4) Areas using this energy (Greenbag) a) US- 3,093 MW as of 2010 b) Philippines- 1,904 MW c) Indonesia- 1,197 MW d) Mexico- 958 MW e) Italy- 843 MW f) New Zealand- 628 MW g) Iceland- 575 MW

h) Japan- 536 MW i) El Salvador- 204 MW j) Kenya- 167 MW 5) Advantages a) Raw material is free and readily available (David) i) Heated water and stream b) Relatively modest cost (David) i) Saves upto 80% of costs which are used for fossil fuels it doesn’t use any types of fuels c) Technology for extracting hot water and stream is well-developed from petroleum-drilling experiences (David) d) Geothermal pumps can be used anywhere because they do not require the presence of geothermal reservoir (Schlager and Weisblatt) e) Does not pollute the groundwater f) Fishes grown in geothermal fisheries are stronger and healthier than the other one (Schlager and Weisblatt) g) Large tacts of land are not destroyed (Schlager and Weisblatt) h) Extremely flexible i) Possible to build them of modular components and to add or adapt components as the need arises ii) Not possible with fossil fuel-burning plants. 6) Disadvantages a) Achieved in only limited parts of the world as it is associated with recent or active i) Volcanism areas (David) b) Releases gases that have offensive odors and are mildly irritating (David) i) Examples (1) Hydrogen Sulfide (2) Sulfur Dioxide (3) Ammonia 7) Quick Facts (how is it improving the society) a) Claims upto 15% of the United States power (David) b) In the late 1990s, worldwide use of geothermal energy saved the equivalent of 830 million gallons of oil or 4.4 million tons of coal (Schlager and Weisblatt) c) Efficient i) A geothermal plant usually can produce more power than a fossil fuel-burning plant of the same size. (Schlager and Weisblatt) 8) Economic Growth a) Nations or countries do not have to give money to the other countries for fuel as geothermal energy does not uses fuel in its production at all (Schlager and Weisblatt) b) All the profit goes to the area in which this energy is produced which means that the profit is never shared (Schlager and Weisblatt)

c) Saves money on other fuels either to create energy or fuel water (Schlager and Weisblatt) d) Raises the standard of livings (Schlager and Weisblatt) 9) Direct Uses of Geothermal Energy (Schlager and Weisblatt) a) Using hot springs for bathing i) Balneology b) Growing plants in winter greenhouses. c) Heating the ground in which outdoor crops are growing to prevent it from freezing. d) Growing fish and shellfish for commercial purposes. e) In industry, such as pasteurizing milk or washing wool. f) Heating buildings or cities through underground channels. Reykjavik, Iceland, has the world's largest geothermal district heating system. g) Piping water under streets and sidewalks to keep them from freezing. h) Geothermal heat pumps that use the heat from just a few feet below the Earth's surface instead of heat from geothermal reservoirs. These can heat or cool homes anywhere, not just in areas with geothermic activity.