Difference Between Solar Energy and Geothermal Energy

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Solar Energy and Geothermal Energy

Why read @ Diffzy

Our articles are well-researched

We make unbiased comparisons

Our content is free to access

We are a one-stop platform for finding differences and comparisons

We compare similar terms in both tabular forms as well as in points


Over the years, our planet underwent a radical metamorphosis that greatly facilitated our way of life. However, it had a detrimental effect on our ecosystem, such as an excessive amount of global warming. We need to develop other energy sources if we want to lessen the heat. Solar and geothermal energy are the two alternative methods that are most effective.

Sunlight is the source of solar energy. It controls Earth's weather and provides food for plants. Solar energy, in more technical words, refers to the technology that enables humans to transform and utilize solar energy for human activities.

Thermal energy, or energy that takes the form of heat, makes up a portion of the sun's energy. The sun's energy can be converted into heat in some solar power systems, while heat is completely useless in other systems. Other definitions of thermal energy exist as well, and they have nothing to do with the sun.

Solar Energy vs Geothermal Energy

The local climate is what distinguishes solar energy from geothermal energy as their major source of energy. In contrast to geothermal energy, which is utilized extensively in colder climates, solar energy does not require heat. It may be extracted in locations where there may be sunnier than rainy days.

A sustainable resource that can improve both the health of the world and our lives is solar energy. Sunlight or solar heat is used in solar energy systems to create or generate electricity. These days, it is more prevalent since operating solar panels is very inexpensive, and because solar energy is a renewable resource that cannot be deleted.

By retaining the heat, geothermal energy also creates electricity. However, it utilizes the heat that is buried deep inside the earth rather than the heat that comes from the sun. It uses a substance called magma, which is as hot as the sun and is buried deep inside the earth. The heat that is trapped inside the geothermal system may occasionally be released.

Difference Between Solar Energy and Geothermal Energy in Tabular Form

Parameters of comparison Solar Energy Geothermal Energy
Climate condition As it needs sun heat, it is used in areas with a lot of sunshine.  utilised more frequently in cooler climates.
Source of heat Sunlight is used to generate heat for solar energy. The magma serves as the source of heat for geothermal energy.
Cost of installation In comparison to geothermal energy, solar energy installation costs is considerably lower. In comparison to solar energy, geothermal energy installation costs are extremely high.
Long-term benefit The advantages of solar energy are significantly less over the long run. The advantages of geothermal energy are greater over the long term.
Technology used  In the long term.

Photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar thermal (CSP) (PV).

Geothermal power plants and geothermal heat pumps are used in geothermal energy.

What is Solar Energy?

One of the best sources of renewable energy that doesn't deplete or degrade while used is solar energy. Currently, it is a popular alternative method for producing electricity all around the world. We must focus on lowering the earth's temperature because our earlier techniques of producing electricity had a detrimental effect on the planet.

As solar energy needs the heat of the sun to generate power, it is frequently built in locations where there will be more sunny days than rainy ones. Utilizing concentrated solar thermal (CSP) and photovoltaic technology, it captures solar heat to produce energy (PV).

The heat from the sun is captured and utilised to melt the liquid in concentrated solar thermal power (CSP), which then generates electricity. In photovoltaics, PV cells are used to collect sunlight and lose the electrons that result, creating an electricity flow that is then caught by wires. These days, the PV technique is frequently employed.

Although sunlight is by far the most potent energy source that Earth receives from the Sun, its intensity at the surface of the planet is actually rather modest. This is primarily due to the massive radial radiation propagating from the far-off Sun. Earth's atmosphere and clouds, which absorb or scatter as much as 54% of the incoming sunlight, cause a comparatively small additional loss. Nearly half of the sunlight that reaches the ground is visible light, followed by infrared radiation at a rate of 45% and lower amounts of ultraviolet and other types of electromagnetic radiation.

Given that Earth receives daily sun energy equivalent to nearly 200,000 times the global capacity for generating electricity, solar energy has a tremendous amount of potential. Unfortunately, despite the fact that solar energy is free, its use is still restricted in many regions due to the high cost of its collection, conversion, and storage. Solar radiation can be transformed into electrical energy or thermal energy (heat), however the former is simpler to do.

In addition to the uses mentioned above, solar energy is also used on a modest scale for other things. For instance, in some nations, saltwater is evaporated to create salt using solar energy. Similar to this, solar-powered desalination systems turn salt water into drinkable water by either directly or indirectly converting the Sun's energy to heat to power the desalination process.

As an alternative energy source, solar technology has also become available for the clean and renewable creation of hydrogen. Artificial leaves are silicon-based machines that use solar energy to divide water into hydrogen and oxygen, leaving almost no contaminants behind. This mimics the process of photosynthesis. The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of these devices for industrial application need to be improved.

What is Geothermal Energy?

Geothermal energy is heat that is produced beneath the earth's surface. Geothermal energy is transported to the Earth's surface via water and/or steam. Depending on its properties, geothermal energy can be used to produce clean electricity or be used for heating and cooling. But in order to produce power, high-or medium-temperature resources are required, and these are typically found near tectonically active areas.

Different geothermal technologies have varying degrees of development. District heating, geothermal heat pumps, greenhouses, and other direct uses of technology are common and can be regarded as mature. Since it has been in use since 1913, the technology for producing energy from hydrothermal reservoirs with naturally high permeability is likewise well-developed and dependable. Many of the power plants currently in use are flash plants (single, double, or triple), which can harness temperatures of more than 180 °C. The development of binary cycle technology, in which geothermal fluid is used via heat exchangers to heat a process fluid in a closed loop, has led to an increase in the use of medium-temperature fields for the production of electricity or for combined heat and power.

Still, there aren't many structures that make use of the endless energy that our planet provides in the form of geothermal energy. Why does this matter? Pure heat makes up the earth's interior. Under the surface of the planet, magma flows at temperatures that are comparable to those of our sun. Humankind started to utilise these natural energy sources decades ago.drilling deep wells into the earth. Steam is produced when hot subsurface water escapes, turning turbines that power massive generators that generate energy.

Today, we heat our homes using geothermal energy as well. Even if the scale is smaller, the idea remains the same. Pipes are drilled in the case of a single-family home anywhere between a few feet and 300 feet. The temperature reaches about 50 degrees Fahrenheit at 30 feet. Even in harsh winters, this temperature remains constant throughout the year, ensuring a sufficient temperature differential between the subsurface and surface temperatures to power a heat pump. Geothermal energy has the ability to both generate power and heat water.

Geothermal energy has the major benefit of not only being unaffected by seasonal changes but also by weather factors like sunny or gloomy days. Deep below the ground, the temperature is almost the same. Some landowners choose to construct earth collectors that are a few feet below the surface but cover a sizable square, especially if permits are challenging to get due to water protection zones or to save money. However, they are less effective than drill wells and require a lot more surface area to heat the fluid to the proper temperature.

Another excellent renewable energy for lowering the earth's temperature is geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is less common than solar energy because it needs more sophisticated technology and higher plant installation costs. However, the rewards we receive more than offset all of the financial outlay.

In colder regions, geothermal energy is typically installed. Although it draws heat from the magma that is buried deep in the soil, it also uses heat to create electricity. Magma is a substance that may be found deep within the earth and is as hot as the sun. The magma's heat is captured and used to create power.

Since the heat may be emitted during this process, it is put in more excellent areas.

Geothermal energy may be used in two different ways to produce power while retaining heat. These are geothermal heat pumps and power plants. The drills that pierce the ground many miles below the surface in search of magma are known as geothermal power plants. Although they only dig a short distance, geothermal heat pumps are comparable to geothermal power plants in many ways.

Geothermal energy is, therefore, necessary to lower the earth's temperature and to maintain human health.

The Main Differences Between Solar Energy and Geothermal Energy in Points

  • Solar energy is very simple. However, geothermal energy requires highly sophisticated systems to trap heat and produce power.
  • The cost of geothermal energy is higher than the cost of solar energy.
  • The advantages of geothermal energy over solar energy are substantial after a gestation period of 8 to 10 years.
  • While geothermal energy uses the heat of magma that is buried deep in the earth, solar energy uses heat from the sun.
  • While geothermal energy may be utilised in the winter because it releases heat while producing electricity, solar energy can be used in the summer since it needs sunlight.
  • One arrives from the sky, while the other does so from below. It really is as simple as it sounds. As each location and construction project is unique, it is advisable to contact an architect or energy planner. Which option would be ideal in each situation depends on the surroundings, the temperature, the size of the property, and last but not least, the money.
  • Being renewable energy sources, both two energy sources are very eco-friendly. Depending on the situation, one may be more appropriate for your needs than another. Solar energy systems are highly developed, and there are many different sizes and types of systems available on the market, so you may find the ideal option for any given circumstance.
  • Even in the extreme north, solar energy is effective enough to provide warmth or electricity if there are no obstacles or limitations to covering portions of the roof with solar panels or collectors.
  • Solar panels are prohibited in several places, notably on historic structures or in wilderness regions. However, in this case, geothermal energy may be the ideal way to benefit from renewable energy sources. Additionally, geothermal energy operates steadily and consistently throughout the whole year in regions with exceptionally overcast and wet weather. The greatest option, however, is to combine both renewable energy sources and always have enough natural energy available to heat and power the building.


The best sustainable energy sources to utilise without having to worry about running out or depleting them are geothermal and solar energy. Both are necessary to lower the earth's temperature, which might endanger life there.

Advanced technology and financial investment are needed to build the facilities for both geothermal and solar energy. But after a protracted gestation period, they both enjoy a variety of advantages. To benefit our globe and lower its temperature, it is crucial to understand the breadth of these energies and use them appropriately.


  • https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9781315065786/geothermal-energy-mary-dickson-mario-fanelli
  • https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=QUNODwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT12&dq=solar+energy&ots=ZxvTdDDLAr&sig=pxlsf9VJiG0uFepTeo9IvTk2qKA


Cite this article

Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:



MLA Style Citation

"Difference Between Solar Energy and Geothermal Energy." Diffzy.com, 2024. Tue. 16 Apr. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-solar-energy-and-geothermal-energy-895>.

Edited by

Share this article