Difference Between Geothermal Energy and Fossil Fuels Energy

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 24, 2022

       

Difference Between Geothermal Energy and Fossil Fuels Energy Difference Between Geothermal Energy and Fossil Fuels Energy

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Introduction

The most critical thing we can do to rescue the planet and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement is to make the transition to renewable energy sources. According to experts, our planet will be rescued and will be protected throughout this transition. Wind energy and solar energy are both examples of renewable energy sources. Similar to this, there is geothermal energy, fossil fuel energy, and other energy sources which are now popular and being researched.

Geothermal energy, according to experts, is more environmentally friendly, more efficient, and more cost-effective than burning fossil fuels, and it has the potential to lessen our reliance on foreign oil.

Even though geothermal energy is far better for the environment, fossil fuels are still the chosen energy source in many areas. The primary reason for this is financial constraints. Even though the price of fossil fuels is rising, they are still much less expensive than geothermal energy and the majority of other renewable energy sources. However, as our fossil fuel supplies are depleted and our energy demands increase, the law of supply and demand will almost certainly result in fossil fuels being more costly than geothermal energy in the future.

Geothermal Energy vs Fossil Fuels Energy

The main difference between geothermal energy and fossil fuel energy is that geothermal energy is a renewable source of energy, while fossil fuel energy is not. It is also one of the primary factors that distinguish these two forms of energy from one another in terms of their long-term viability. Geothermal energy is mostly derived from the heat produced by the earth's interior.

The term geothermal is made up of two words: geo, which means earth, and thermal, which is short for the thermos, which is short for heat. The energy stored under the surface of the planet is exploited to satisfy our energy requirements. Geothermal energy is the term used to describe this kind of energy. These energies are produced by a combination of factors, including heat received from the Sun, volcanic activity, radioactive decay absorbed by minerals, and the heat obtained during the Earth's creation. This heat is continually absorbed by the Earth's lower surface and transported to the planet's core.

Geothermal energy is environmentally friendly since it may be produced without the usage of fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide emissions from geothermal power plants are a fraction of those emitted by fossil-fuel power plants, and they emit very little nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide. Reykjavik, Iceland, which warms 95 percent of its buildings with geothermal energy, is regarded to be one of the world's cleanest cities, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.

Fossil fuel energy is directly tied to the decomposition of fossil fuels. These fossils are mostly found in trees and other forms of vegetation. These are transformed into oil, gas, and coal by the breakdown of organic matter over millions of years. This is what is referred to as "fossil fuel." These fossils also contribute to the fulfillment of human needs. This means that they date back to the beginning of time, which means that they are very old. These are non-renewable resources, and we will not be able to utilize them in the foreseeable future.

The exploitation of fossil fuels as a source of energy is very harmful to the environment. Coal mining has the potential to transform whole landscapes and displace species. Fish and birds are killed and beaches are destroyed as a consequence of oil leaks that occur during the drilling process for crude oil. Furthermore, the burning of fossil fuels contributes to the emission of massive amounts of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. In addition to contributing to ozone depletion, it is also a key contributor to global warming. Geothermal energy, on the other hand, has a negligible environmental effect. The vast majority of its waste is just steam, with only a trace quantity of gases remaining that were trapped in the rocks.

Difference Between Geothermal Energy and Fossil Fuels Energy in Tabular form

Table: Geothermal Energy vs Fossil Fuels Energy
Parameters of comparison
Geothermal Energy
Fossil Fuels Energy
Definition   
The energy stored under the surface of the planet is exploited to satisfy our energy requirements. Geothermal energy is the term used to describe this kind of energy.
Fuel from fossil fuels is directly connected to dead fossils, which are mostly derived from trees and other forms of flora.
Extraction technology   
To harvest geothermal energy, the technology still has to be put to the test on its own.
Fossil fuels are readily withdrawn from the technological system, and they have the capacity to supply the needs of the whole world population.
Expensive   
This is the reason why people are unable to make full use of this available energy.
Geothermal energy is an extremely costly source of energy.
Energy derived from fossil fuels is less expensive.
Properties   
Geothermal energy is a renewable form of energy that may be used again and over again.
Energy derived from fossil fuels is a nonrenewable source of energy.
Constant   
Geothermal energy is a renewable source of energy that is both steady and long-lasting.
The energy derived from fossil fuels is progressively diminishing over time.

What is Geothermal Energy?

Thermal energy (heat) obtained from the ground is defined by the Geothermal Research Council as geothermal energy (thermal) (geo).

Fractures and cracks in the earth's crust are filled with fluid due to the thermal energy contained in the rock and fluid. Thermal energy is present in the rock and fluid.

Geothermal resources are underground reserves of hot water that may be found at a variety of temperatures and depths under the surface of the Earth.

Deep wells are dug into deep reservoirs to extract steam and very hot water. When the steam and hot water reach the surface, they may be used in several applications, including power production, direct usage, as well as for heating, air conditioning, and other purposes.

It is the thermal energy that is created and stored inside the Earth's crust that is referred to as geothermal energy. Because of the ongoing process of nuclear fusion, the core of the Earth maintains the same temperature as the Sun, which is practically constant throughout the year. The melting of certain rocks occurs as a consequence of the extreme heat and pressure, which causes the mantle to rise in the atmosphere (as they become lighter with the heat).

Because the energy is produced so close to the facility, it saves money on processing and shipping expenses when compared to other forms of energy sources. Geothermal power facilities are also regarded as more dependable than coal or nuclear power plants since they can operate continuously, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, unlike the latter.

Approximately 7,000 megawatts of geothermal energy are used across the globe, with approximately 2,700 megawatts of that energy generated in the United States (equal to burning 60 million barrels of oil per year) [source: Geothermal Education Office]. Although we are using geothermal energy, we are not utilizing it to its full potential.

Geothermal energy is only available in restricted geographic areas because of the difficulty and price of drilling down deep enough to access it, as well as the limited geographic availability of geothermal energy. New, more sophisticated drilling methods are being developed, which may allow for deeper drilling and the distribution of geothermal energy to a greater number of people in more locations.

What is Fossil Fuels Energy?

Fossil fuels are fuels created by geological processes acting on old dead creatures. They are also known as fossil fuels. These long-dead species were buried hundreds of millions of years ago and are still there now. In terms of primary energy, the world obtains around 5/6 of its energy from fossil fuels, and this consumption is contributing to climate change. For this reason, fossil fuels are not regarded to be a renewable energy source since they cannot be recreated at the pace at which they are used.

However, the globe has enough resources remaining to endure for a very long period, leading some to believe that fossil fuel consumption (particularly natural gas) is environmentally sustainable. In the absence of the development and widespread use of carbon capture and storage technologies, the effects of burning these fossil fuels would be catastrophic, rendering their usage unsustainable.

Coal, oil, and natural gas are examples of fossil fuels, and in rare cases, peat may also be considered a fossil fuel. When it comes to their chemical composition, these fuels are mostly made of carbon and hydrogen, with traces of oxygen, nitrogen, and sulphur thrown in for good measure.

When fossil fuels are burned, carbon and hydrogen molecules are released into the environment, where they react with oxygen from the atmosphere to generate carbon dioxide and water vapor, a process known as combustion. In addition to greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuels contribute to various types of pollution, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), particulate matter (PM), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide (CO), and mercury (among others). There has been a significant reduction in the environmental effect of fossil fuels as a result of more strict pollution control measures being implemented in response to legislative requirements. The effect of fossil fuel use on the environment is by far the most significant source of worry. As a result of the massive quantity of carbon dioxide emitted by the combustion of fossil fuels, global climate patterns are changing. Other environmental hazards exist in addition to the burning of fossil fuels, particularly during their extraction: habitat damage, biodiversity loss, and water contamination, to mention a few examples.

The exploitation of fossil fuels as a source of energy is very harmful to the environment. Coal mining has the potential to transform whole landscapes and displace species. Fish and birds are killed and beaches are destroyed as a consequence of oil leaks that occur during the drilling process for crude oil. Furthermore, the burning of fossil fuels contributes to the emission of massive amounts of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. In addition to contributing to ozone depletion, it is also a key contributor to global warming. Geothermal energy, on the other hand, has a negligible environmental effect. The vast majority of its waste is just steam, with only a trace quantity of gases remaining that were trapped in the rocks.

Main Differences Between Geothermal Energy and Fossil Fuels Energy in Points

  • Even though both geothermal and fossil fuel energy are derived from the earth's natural resources, geothermal energy is a renewable source of energy whereas fossil fuel energy is a non-renewable source of energy.
  • Geothermal energy does not pollute the environment, but burning fossil fuels generates greenhouse gases that pollute the ecosystem and contribute to global warming and climate change.
  • Geothermal energy is mostly used to create more power, while fossil fuel energy is used to generate less electricity. Geothermal energy is more versatile than fossil fuel energy.
  • To harvest geothermal energy, the technology still has to be put to the test on its own. Thus, people are unable to make full use of renewable energies whereas fossil fuels are readily withdrawn from the technological system and can easily supply the needs of the whole world population.
  • Geothermal energy is a reliable source of energy that will remain forever, but fossil fuels are progressively dwindling in the long run.
  • Energy derived from fossil fuels is still less expensive than energy derived from geothermal sources.
  • The energy stored under the surface of the planet is exploited to satisfy our energy requirements. It is referred to as geothermal energy, while fossil fuel energy is directly tied to the decomposition of dead fossils, which are mostly acquired from trees and other forms of plant life.
  • Energy derived from fossil fuels is still less expensive than energy derived from geothermal sources.

Conclusion

As a result, we might infer that both are natural, but that they are also distinct from one another. Geothermal energy is a renewable source of energy, while fossil fuels are not renewable sources of energy. It is also one of the primary factors that distinguish these two forms of energy from one another in terms of their long-term viability. Geothermal energy is mostly derived from the heat produced by the earth's interior. Instead, geothermal energy does not pollute the environment, unlike fossil fuel combustion which emits greenhouse gases that pollute the ecosystem and contribute to global warming. To harvest geothermal energy, the technology still has to be put to the test on its own. Thus, people are unable to make full use of renewable energies whereas fossil fuels are readily withdrawn from the technological system and can easily supply the needs of the whole world population.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/978-3-030-71685-1.pdf
  2. https://www.mdpi.com/18600

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