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Difference Between Geothermal Energy and Fossil Fuels Energy

Geothermal Energy vs Fossil Fuels Energy

Geothermal energy is one of the renewable energy sources that have gained widespread acceptance as an alternative to fossil fuels energy. The main difference between geothermal energy and fossil fuels energy is the sustainability. Geothermal energy is sourced from the inherent heat produced by the earth. A few kilometers under the surface, the temperature is already enough to boil water into steam. The steam is then returned to the surface to drive turbines. The amount of heat extracted by geothermal plants is insignificant compared to the amount of heat in the earth’s core, thus the process is very sustainable. In comparison, fossil fuels energy is derived from fossilized remains of living things that are mined and drilled from the ground. It takes millions of years for fossil fuels to be replenished, thus the possibility of it running out is very real.

The extraction of fossil fuels energy is very costly to the environment. The mining of coal can change entire landscapes and displace animals. Drilling for oil also results in oil spills that kill fishes and birds as well as ruin beaches. And the use of fossil fuels releases tons of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. This is the major culprit of ozone depletion and the rising global temperature. In contrast, geothermal energy has very minimal impact. Most of its waste is just steam with a very negligible amount of gases that were trapped in the rocks.

Even though geothermal energy is much better for the environment, fossil fuels energy is still the preferred energy source. The main reason behind this is cost. Even though the cost of fossil fuels is on the rise, it is still significantly cheaper than geothermal energy and most other renewable energy sources. But as we deplete our fossil fuel reserves and our energy needs rise, the law of supply and demand would probably lead to fossil fuels being more expensive than geothermal energy.

Also, fossil fuels energy is more flexible when it comes to uses. It is used to generate electricity, power vehicles, and even large machineries for industries. Geothermal energy is used mostly to generate electricity as other uses may be too impractical.


  1. Geothermal energy is renewable while fossil fuels energy is not
  2. Geothermal energy has very minimal impact compared to fossil fuels energy
  3. Fossil fuels energy is still cheaper than geothermal energy
  4. Geothermal energy is used mostly for power generation while fossil fuels energy is more flexible


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