Many people are not as familiar with geothermal energy as they are with other forms of renewables. In fact, a recent poll of 1000 people in the western U.S. found only 22% felt they were well informed about geothermal. Utah FORGE is working to change that.

We’ve developed a high-level Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ) available to students, the media, and anyone else interested in learning more about geothermal energy. It includes information about geothermal as a renewable energy source and how it compares to other green energies – including the fact it can be generated constantly. Some of the most commonly asked questions include:

Is geothermal energy a renewable resource?

Yes, the heat coming from the core of the earth cannot be depleted by human activities. When generating electricity from a geothermal reservoir it is common practice to inject the produced water back into the earth to be reheated and used again.

What are the advantages of geothermal energy compared to other green energies?

Unlike solar and wind energy, geothermal energy can be generated constantly, not just when the sun is shining, and the wind is blowing. The surface footprint of a geothermal power plant is very compact, generally less than 5 acres. Because the footprint is so small, geothermal plants have little impact on the local environment or wildlife.

What are the drawbacks of geothermal energy?

There are no drawbacks, only advantages to the use of geothermal energy for electricity production and direct use (heating, cooling). Currently, geothermal development for electricity generation occurs in areas where hot springs are found. In the future, new techniques will allow geothermal development anywhere in the world.

Have more questions? Check these FAQs