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Essay Example on Alternative Energy Sources: Geothermal and Wind Energy

3 pages
642 words
University of Richmond
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Explain the limitation and benefits of geothermal energy

energy refers to the heat that arises from underneath the earth surface and can be used for generation of electricity and also heat. Geothermal energy production involves several advantages and disadvantages as follows;

Benefits of geothermal energy

Environmental friendly. Plants that are involved in geothermal energy production does not involve any combustion; this, therefore, means that significantly little amount of the greenhouse gases that are harmful to the environment. Geothermal energy plants also save the environment because they require a very little piece of land for construction. A geothermal system has no sound pollution as its operations are very quiet.

Availability and reliability factor. Geothermal energy is exceptionally a constant energy source, which means that it is independent of neither the sun nor the wind and it is available throughout the year. It is ranked on top of other renewable sources of energy because of the independent nature it has on inconstant environmental circumstances.

Little or no maintenance cost. Increased efficiency often characterizes geothermal energy production, and its systems are made with few mobile parts. These parts are sheltered in a building increasing their lifespan. The pipes that are used such as heat pump pipes have warrants that offer lifetime coverage.

Limitations of geothermal energy

Depletion of the geothermal sources. Despite the consideration of being a sustainable source of energy, some specific location used for extraction might deplete with time. This indicates that it will be impossible to get more of the energy in the future.

Cost of investment to the geothermal sources. The initial cost of establishing the plant get it operational is very high. These costs also come in the researching the appropriate areas since the installation of a power plant require areas that are shallow enough to facilitate drilling (Rossi, 2017).

Concerns about the greenhouse gases. Geothermal has been established as an alternative friendly source of energy; there are also concerns that cause minor harm to the environment by releasing greenhouse gases such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide.


Rossi, E., Kant, M. A., von Rohr, P. R., & Saar, M. O. (2017, April). Combining conventionaland thermal drilling in order to increase speed and reduce costs of drilling operations toaccess deep geothermal resources. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (Vol.19, p. 13566).

Explain how wind turbines convert kinetic energy into electrical energy

A wind turbine is a device made of blades that are rotated by the wind and used for generation of electric energy. The blades of the wind turbine are designed in such a way that they can capture the kinetic energy of the wind. Turbine blades get momentum when they start capturing the wind energy. Once they are in motion, they start to spin the shaft and the gearbox leading to the generator and come from the hub of a rotor.

During the spinning of the shaft and the gearbox, the kinetic energy is converted by the wind power to mechanical energy in a generator. This conversion is done by turbines which always consist of propellers and is in continuous rotation. The connection of the generator to the turbines main shaft is very important and should be made for the generation of electric energy from mechanical energy (Hirth, 2016).

There are two types of blade designs; the drag, and the lift types. The drag type relies on the wind forces to push the blades rotating. Comparatively these blades have a slow rotating speed hence not used when large energy production is needed. The lift type is the most modern type of turbine blade. With its faster speed of rotation, this type of blades is used for the production of a large amount of energy.



Hirth, Lion, & Muller, S. (2016). System-Friendly Wind power: How advanced wind turbinedesign can increase the economic value of electricity generated through wind power.EnergyEconomics, 56, 51-63.


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