Why doesn't geothermal energy cause pollution?

1 Answer
Apr 28, 2017

Geothermal energy does not cause pollution because the operation may need only pumps or the system may be able to operate on the heat energy of the hot vapor or fluid directly.


While there is pollution resulting from the initial building and installation of the system, it will be small compared to the pollution savings over time in operation.

Drilling into the earth's crust is the expensive and polluting factor in building a geothermal plant or domestic system, especially if green house gases escape from the borehole. These problems have been dramatically reduced as more geothermal comes on line.

Once in operation, a geothermal producer will function for decades or longer if well maintained. Some of these systems do not even require pumps to run, being fed from underground hot water or superheated steam from the interior of the earth. Others use electric pumps to maintain the heat flow.

It has been calculated that use of geothermal energy by humans will have a negligible effect on the cooling of the earth which is a natural occurrence. The heat produced in the center of the earth is the result of the earth's formation and radioactive materials.

Geothermal systems may be as small as a unit to warm and cool a house, or as large as a huge power plant to supply electricity.
They will always beat fossil fuel in pollution reduction when properly designed.