ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Natural Resources: Energy:Geothermal power
- Geothermal power is generated using steam rhythmically shooting out from underground at high pressure in the form of geysers.
- To control the movement of steam, an intricate network of pipes is installed collecting and directing the steam to turbines on the ground surface.
- The power of the ejected steam turns the turbines which turn the generators to produce our electricity.
- Some of the pipes act as safety valves to release excess pressure and steam while others are for driving steam to cooling chambers to convert it back to water.
- This water is then pumped back to the geyser source underground for reboiling naturally by hot rocks in an area of active volcanicity.
- Volcanicity is the process where molten magma or lava forces its way out from the earth’s crust unto the earth’s surface.
- It is clean and environmentally friendly
- It is renewable
- Does not require clearing or damming nor does it result in displacement of people
- It is inexpensive to run as there is no fuel required to turn turbines
- Reduces dependency on fossil fuels
- Pollution for example through the release of gases such as hydrogen sulfide
- Potential water pollution
- They are location specific and cannot be moved to suit other factors e.g distance to market
- Plants have high maintenance costs
- The construction of geothermal stations can affect land stability as there is risk of land subsidence
- There is also the possibility of depletion
To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page