What is Geothermal Energy?

When the heat obtained from the earth is used for generating electricity, it is known as geothermal electricity. As the interiors of the Earth are hot, the heat energy may at times surface itself in the form of hot springs. Geothermal energy can be used for the generation of electricity.


Generation of Geothermal Energy

  • The extremely high temperatures in the deeper geothermal reservoirs are used for the generation of electricity.
  • Hot water is pumped from deep underground through a well under high pressure.
  • When water reaches the surface, the pressure is dropped that causes the water to turn into steam. The steam spins the turbine which then rotates a generator and produces energy.
  • The steam cools off in the cooling tower and condenses back to water. The cooled water is then pumped back again under the surface of the earth to begin the process again.

Advantages of Geothermal Energy

  • Because of its extensive distribution, geothermal energy is easily accessible.
  • It is environment friendly because of the low sulphur emission, carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.
  • It is not influenced by weather and seasons.
  • It is independent of external supply and demand effects and fluctuations of exchange rates.

Distribution

  • India has the potential to produce about 12,000MW of geothermal energy.
  • In India, geothermal plants are located in Manikaran in Himachal Pradesh and Puga valley in Ladakh. The hot springs have been grouped together and termed as different geothermal provinces.
  • These regions are the Himalayan geothermal province, Naga-Lushai geothermal province, Andaman and Nicobar Islands geothermal province and Cambay graben, Son-Narmada-Tapti graben, West coast, Damodar Valley, Mahanadi Valley and Godavari Valley.

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