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Geothermal power 

Geothermal power is power generated by geothermal energy. Technologies in use include dry steam power stations, flash steam power stations and binary cycle power stations. Geothermal electricity generation is currently used in 24 countries, while geothermal heating is in use in 70 countries.

Geothermal power is considered to be a sustainable, renewable source of energy because the heat extraction is small compared with the Earth's heat content. The greenhouse gas emissions of geothermal electric stations are on average 45 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour of electricity, or less than 5 percent of that of conventional coal-fired plants.
In 1960, Pacific Gas and Electric began operation of the first successful geothermal electric power station in the United States at The Geysers in California. The original turbine lasted for more than 30 years and produced 11 MW net power.
The thermal efficiency of geothermal electric stations is low, around 710%, because geothermal fluids are at a low temperature compared with steam from boilers. By the laws of thermodynamics this low temperature limits the efficiency of heat engines in extracting useful energy during the generation of electricity. Exhaust heat is wasted, unless it can be used directly and locally, for example in greenhouses, timber mills, and district heating. The efficiency of the system does not affect operational costs as it would for a coal or other fossil fuel plant, but it does factor into the viability of the station. In order to produce more energy than the pumps consume, electricity generation requires high-temperature geothermal fields and specialized heat cycles. Because geothermal power does not rely on variable sources of energy, unlike, for example, wind or solar, its capacity factor can be quite large up to 96% has been demonstrated. However the global average capacity factor was 74.5% in 2008, according to the IPCC.
In ground that is hot but dry, or where water pressure is inadequate, injected fluid can stimulate production. Developers bore two holes into a candidate site, and fracture the rock between them with explosives or high-pressure water. Then they pump water or liquefied carbon dioxide down one borehole, and it comes up the other borehole as a gas. This approach is called hot dry rock geothermal energy in Europe, or enhanced geothermal systems in North America. Much greater potential may be available from this approach than from conventional tapping of natural aquifers.
Geothermal power is considered to be sustainable because the heat extraction is small compared to the Earth's heat content, but extraction must still be monitored to avoid local depletion. Although geothermal sites are capable of providing heat for many decades, individual wells may cool down or run out of water. The three oldest sites, at Larderello, Wairakei, and the Geysers have all reduced production from their peaks. It is not clear whether these stations extracted energy faster than it was replenished from greater depths, or whether the aquifers supplying them are being depleted. If production is reduced, and water is reinjected, these wells could theoretically recover their full potential. Such mitigation strategies have already been implemented at some sites. The long-term sustainability of geothermal energy has been demonstrated at the Lardarello field in Italy since 1913, at the Wairakei field in New Zealand since 1958, and at The Geysers field in California since 1960.
In 2010, the United States led the world in geothermal electricity production with 3,086 MW of installed capacity from 77 power stations; the largest group of geothermal power plants in the world is located at The Geysers, a geothermal field in California. The Philippines follows the US as the second highest producer of geothermal power in the world, with 1,904 MW of capacity online; geothermal power makes up approximately 27% of the country's electricity generation.
Station construction can adversely affect land stability. Subsidence has occurred in the Wairakei field in New Zealand. Enhanced geothermal systems can trigger earthquakes due to water injection. The project in Basel, Switzerland was suspended because more than 10,000 seismic events measuring up to 3.4 on the Richter Scale occurred over the first 6 days of water injection. The risk of geothermal drilling leading to uplift has been experienced in Staufen im Breisgau.
Geothermal power stations can also disrupt the natural cycles of geysers. For example, the Beowawe, Nevada geysers, which were uncapped geothermal wells, stopped erupting due to the development of the dual-flash station.







Member of IWOCE RC PBC 2019:


Roberto Di Cosmo

Definitions of different ecosystems

Research Proposal

Software Component Definition

History alternative energy

Enabling  technologies

Renewable energy vs non-renewable energy

Relatively new concepts for alternative energy

Research alternative energy

Disadvantages alternative energy