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What Are The Drawbacks of
Geothermal Energy

Geothermal Energy Costs



Are There Any Drawbacks to Geothermal Energy?


Lately, in a greener world and with today’s tough economic times, geothermal energy has been getting lots of praises from many different organizations and has also been considered to be one of the cleanest and most renewable energy sources around.


With all the fanfare aside, however, before you consider having a geothermal heating system in your home, you might want to do some more research to see if there are any drawbacks to geothermal energy.   Think about your environment and is geothermal energy an effective source of heat in your area?   Though geothermal energy can be harnessed in many parts of the world, it can be more difficult in some areas and easier in others.   Furthermore, in some other parts of the world, geothermal energy systems can be very inefficient and the costs can far outweigh the benefits.


Some of the best areas for geothermal energy systems

Of course, geothermal energy can be best harnessed where heat comes up naturally from the earth.   Take Iceland into consideration.  Practically, Icelanders regularly rely on geothermal energy to heat their houses and to get their hot water.    How is this possible?   Well, Iceland is on the Atlantic Ridge and the island was formed by erupting undersea volcanos, much like the vast majority of the South Pacific Islands.  Under the ground in Iceland, you have active rivers of magma and above ground, you can see that there is an ample source of geothermal heat, geysers and naturally hot springs, where there are lakes of boiling water.   Everything is there to tap into this amazing resource.  



 Iceland, however, is not the only area where geothermal heat can be so easy to attain.   There are many places in the United States, where natural hot springs and geysers are prevalent.   Yellow Stone Park and the surrounding areas have heat just below the surface, which is generated by volcanic activity.   In Arkansas, Hot Springs, is another place where geothermal energy can easily be attained. 

 The city of Hot Springs, Arkansas, got its name due to the hot springs in the area.  In these areas, you can literally dig just below your home and get a good geothermal heat source.   Unfortunately, however, many of us do not have the luxury of living in such an area.



It is also possible to have geothermal energy systems in areas where there is no volcanic or seismic activity.   The disadvantage of that, however, is that this can come with some cost.   It is possible, because the ground absorbs over 47% of the sun’s radiation and thus the ambient temperature underground remains constant all year round.   The biggest drawbacks to geothermal energy in these areas, however, are that it can take an excessively long time for the geothermal heat to renew itself.   Furthermore, in most areas where there is no volcanic activity is that the ambient ground temperature may only reach up to 50 or 60 degrees Fahrenheit.   This might be too cold for some people and if cold water comes into the system too quickly, it can cool the system to where you can only have good air conditioning in the summer.   Likewise, if you want to have hot water from geothermal energy in these areas, your water will be lukewarm at best.


Though geothermal energy can be an excellent source of heat and cooling in some areas, to make sure if it’s right for your area, you want to do some research first before you decide to go through all the expense of installing a geothermal heating system in your home and then be disappointed with the results.



Are you building a home and looking for a custom, geothermal heat pump home?  Visit my home design site at for more information.

 drawbacks of geothermal energy


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Phillip Rye
Phillip Rye

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