May 29

Can You Use Geothermal Energy To Power Your Home?


geothermal energy to power your homeThinking about switching to renewable energy, you can only think of 2 or 3 alternatives, such as solar panels, wind turbines, and even hydroelectric power plants. We never seem to think beyond these common sources of green power, even though there are many other alternatives that are more suitable for our location. 

One such alternative is geothermal energy, an untapped renewable energy source that many of us would have never heard of a few years earlier, yet it is becoming one of the fastest growing ways to power businesses and industrial areas. It makes one wonder, what is geothermal energy, and can you use it to power your home?


What is geothermal energy?


Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source that uses hot water and steam sourced from deep within the Earth’s surface to generate electricity. The hot water trapped inside the surface is turned to steam, which then moves along the pipes connected to a turbine, the turbine spins due to the steam which powers up the generator to produce clean, renewable energy. The steam is allowed to move through the pipes into the cooling chamber, where it turns into water and is pumped back into the ground.

Why you should think of using geothermal energy to power your home

Geothermal energy has numerous benefits, one of which is that the energy is completely renewable and does not waste any water in the process. In fact, it reuses the same water over and over again over a long period of time, and with the Earth replenishing these resources underground faster than the consumption, it seems that we can safely assume Geothermal energy to last for hundreds of thousands of years.

Annually, the world consumes thousands of Gigawatts of energy, much of which is made using non-renewable resources. Although efforts have been made to switch to sustainable energy, we still have a long way to go before we begin to make a substantial impact on our environment. Geothermal energy has remained largely untapped, frankly because many of us didn’t even know it actually existed! Now that people have started to look for renewable sources, geothermal energy has surfaced as one of the most efficient ways to produce green energy. 

Geothermal energy is also unaffected by weather and climate conditions, as opposed to other renewable sources such as wind, solar, and hydropower. Producing via wind energy requires open areas with ample wind to function properly, whereas solar panels require sunny areas to produce any energy, even hydropower requires a source of flowing water somewhere near in order to be effective. Geothermal energy is available all year round no matter the weather. The natural heat within the Earth’s surface keeps the water hot at all times, which means there is no dependency on the weather. All you need is a geothermal power plant or a system and you’re good to go!


The (small) catch…

In order for geothermal energy to be effective, however, there is a need for high temperatures beneath the Earth’s surface, over 150 degrees celsius to be precise. Thankfully, most of the Earth is pretty uniform in a temperature beneath the surface, so unless you’re living in a rare area where the temperatures fall below 100 degrees beneath the surface, you can probably reap the benefits of geothermal energy to power your home.

A few drawbacks you should consider before switching to geothermal energy

There are a few costs associated with using geothermal energy, one of which is the monetary cost of setting it up. Switching to a renewable power supply for your home doesn’t come cheap, and the same can be said for geothermal energy. Geothermal systems can cost over 20,000 USD if you plan on installing one for your home, which compared to other forms of renewable energies such as wind or solar, is a bit more expensive. 

If you’re planning on installing your new geothermal system in a home that you have been living in for a few years, you may be at a disadvantage. Geothermal systems are best installed in houses that are yet in the construction phase, due to the high amount of excavation required for sourcing the hot water from the ground. I won’t say it is impossible, but it is much less of a hassle to install a geothermal system for your new home rather than the one you’re already living in, and the extra added costs of excavation don’t exactly do you any good.

Lastly, one drawback of using geothermal energy to power your home is that although the energy produced does have a much lower footprint on the environment than using fossil fuels, it cannot be said that geothermal energy is completely clean. There may be cases where some greenhouse gases are trapped within the ground and upon sourcing, they may escape into the atmosphere. Although the quantity is quite minute to adversely affect the environment on a large scale, it is still something that should be kept into consideration.


The final verdict…

Although there are associated costs with setting up a geothermal system at home, purely due to the complexity compared to other forms of renewable energy, the geothermal system is without a doubt one of the most stable and reliable methods to power up any home or office. It is not weather dependent, nearly works everywhere, re-uses the same water source over and over again, and can be used for both heating and cooling purposes; just a few extra benefits that make it worth those few extra dollars.


You may also like

  • Can someone please clarify the 9th paragraph in this article. It is actually the 2nd paragraph under the title “A few drawbacks you should consider before switching to geothermal energy.” There seems to be a huge contradiction here. I believe there is a significant miss-type here and the 3rd sentence shout read ” much less of a hassle” rather than “much more”.

    • Hi Bob, thanks for the feedback! Yes, this is a typo, I’ll make sure to change it. Shoutout for the eagle eye!

  • Amazing blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make
    my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your theme.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Get in touch

    0 of 350