Unleash the Beast: Geothermal Energy
Fossil fuels and nuclear power are hazardous to the
environment, producing pollutants and other harmful
One energy source that does not pollute the earth, however, is
often overlooked, although its potential is great -
the earth itself.
The core of the earth is about
4000 degrees Celsius, and harnessing this power would
create a heat source much more environmentally friendly
than most of what is being done today.
However, the research being done on geothermal energy is still at
the elementary stage, and we have yet to truly benefit
from what the earth's heat can do for us.
The core of the earth is about 4000 miles deep and impossible for us to
reach, as our equipment would melt even if it could
drill that deeply.
The layer surrounding the earth's
core, called the mantle, is only about 45 miles
deep, however, and so this is a much more attainable
As of today, modern drilling machinery
is not advanced enough to drill to this level, where
temperatures reach about 375 degrees Celsius.
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◙ Geothermal Energy
What we can do is drill about 3 miles deep,
to a point where the heat from the earth is warm
enough to boil water. By boiling water, we can
create steam, which runs power plants that, in turn,
It is still very difficult to drill 3 miles into the earth crust.
Luckily, we can take advantage of what are known as
geothermal hot spots. A hotspot is a place on the
earth where the mantle is not as thick and therefore
extra heat is transferred to the earth's surface.
Such hotspots are usually volcanic, or can be seen
in natural features such as hot springs or geysers.
By using the heat generated from these spots, a power plant can
heat water and produce the steam it needs to
create electricity. This is less wasteful than
burning fossil fuels or using nuclear power, and the
only by-product is cooled water, which can then be
returned to the ecosystem once it has been purified.
By using a hot spot, we also do not disrupt the environment by
drilling, nor is there the expense associated with
drilling. Although research still needs to be done to
better harness the earth's geothermal energy, by
unleashing some of her internal fury, we can create
power that is less hazardous.
Research steam-powered energy options in your community to find out if
this method is right for your energy needs.