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Geothermal Energy

How it works, advantages, and limitations. BY CHIZ MAOS, Gary Bai, Hardy Huang, Phillip Mai

Gary Bai

on 19 November 2013

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Transcript of Geothermal Energy

How much energy does it produce?
Geothermal energy has
many advantages over
traditional fossil fuel:
It is much cleaner than fossil
Although extracting hot water
underneath the earth does bring g
such as Carbon Dioxide, Methane, an
Ammonia with it, geothermal plants are still significantly cleaner than fossil fuels.
Plants can operate for 24 hours a day (unlike, for example, wind or solar energy)
Virtually renewable source of energy - it should never run out
Unfortunately there are also some
limitations of geothermal energy:
: It is expensive to find and drill for good geothermal sites.
Good sites for power plants are limited
Tectonic plates along the boundaries are cheaper to exploit and are used more. Scale wells are drilled but can be very expensive.
Some legal issues
Questions over land
Cannot be easily transported.
Cost Effectiveness
Expensive to drill geothermal wells.
However after a plant is set up geothermal energy is fairly cost effective.
89.6 USD$/MWh, including capital costs, operation costs, fuel costs and transmission costs.
Conventional Coal is actually more expensive ($100.1USD/MWh). Coal plants are cheaper to setup but more expensive to operate.
Wind - $86.6/MWh, Biomass $111/MWh, Solar Photovoltaic $144.3/MWh, Hydro $90.3/MWh
This is by 2013 estimates of plants entering service in 2018(from US Dept. of Energy)
However in Australia geothermal energy is currently much more expensive to run ($89/MWh)
Is it already being used?
Geothermal energy is being used in many countries. Most notably USA, Philippines, Iceland, NZ, Indonesia, Mexico, Italy, and Japan.

There are no large scale geothermal operations currently in Australia.

Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
however has
two minor projects
Enhanced geothermal systems
hot sedimentary aquifers.
Geothermal Energy
By Gary Bai
, Hardy Huang, cH
iZ MaoZ
, and
Phillip Mai
Geothermal energy is stored as the heat in
the earth. The heat we use is stored in hot sub surface rocks or the magma surrounding the water.

The heat is created by radioactive decay - over millions of years,
elements like uranium, thorium and potassium decay. The decay releases heat,
which travels to the surface.
How it works (p2)
Geothermal energy is harnessed in 2 ways:
Extracting hot water circulating among sub surface rocks.
Using the heat from the hot water to spin turbines, creating electricity.

Or, alternatively, the hot water is used to boil certain fluids to drive turbines.
How it Works (p3)
Geothermal: from the greek words
(ge), meaning earth, and (thermos), meaning hot.
Geothermal energy is the heat from the earth.
Originally harnessed as heating for bathhouses,
geothermal energy is now used to turn turbines.
Geothermal energy is a clean and safe alternative to burning fossil fuels.
A medium sized
powerplant ha
s a
capacity of 120MW - eno

for a

metropolitan area

According to the

stics of

is the largest user
- 3086 MW
Phillipines is the second
30% of Iceland's energy
is from
geothermal powerplants.
How it works (p1)
Full transcript