Energy is obtained from any source possible by humankind. We need the energy to fuel our machines, provide electricity and for all the necessary activities of today’s world. Energy can be obtained from different sources given modern technology. Renewable resources are the preferable source of energy from an environmental point of view.
Wind Energy vs Geothermal Energy
The main difference between Wind Energy and Geothermal Energy is that wind energy is obtained by utilizing the wind in a particular area. While Geothermal energy is obtained from the heat that is always present in the earth. Both are renewable and can be obtained without any restrictions. Wind energy is widely used in many countries. It had been used for a long time in the history of man.
Wind energy is one of the easily available, sustainable forms of energy. It is highly eco-friendly and is used in many countries. In generating this energy wind is used. Wind turbines are placed in areas that receive a large amount of wind. These turbines rotate by the wind and the energy generated is converted into electric current.
Geothermal energy is the energy generated using the heat which is naturally occurring in the earth’s crust-mantle. The interior part of the earth is extremely hot since the formation of the planet. This heat is caused by the molten magma present in the core. This heats the water in some places which comes out as hot springs. This heat is utilized by humans to generate electricity.
Comparison Table between Wind Energy and Geothermal Energy
|Parameters of Comparison
|Heat from Earth
|Method of generation
|Windmills with wind turbines are used
|Wells drilled deep in the earth are used to heat water
|India, China, America, Germany, Spain, etc
|United States of America, Philippines, New Zealand, Turkey, etc
|Eco-friendly, easy to maintain
|Habitat loss and biodiversity loss
|Air pollution, earthquakes, high cost
What is Wind Energy?
Wind energy is one of the better eco-friendly options compared to fossil fuels and atomic energy. It has very little or no effect on the environment. Humans have been using wind power for centuries to operate boats, turbines, etc. Windmills were used to pump water to agricultural fields, grinding purposes, and for other needs in farmhouses.
Wind farms are constructed in different countries so they could generate and supply electricity from wind power. The location which receives a high amount of wind is chosen. Wind farms may contain several hundreds of turbines. These wind turbines may be distributed throughout a large area. The land on which the turbines are located is used for other purposes. They are mostly used for agriculture.
Wind farms can either be offshore or onshore. The onshore wind farms are the common ones. They are easy to maintain and the cost of construction is also low compared to the offshore farms. Offshore wind farms generate a large amount of electricity compared to their onshore counterparts. Countries like India, China, and the United States have been successfully generating wind energy.
China has the largest wind farm in the world followed by the Muppandal wind farm in India. The turbines are connected with a power collector. The current generated is low in voltage and a transformer is used to increase the voltage. Current is transported to markets with the help of transmission lines.
What is Geothermal Energy?
Geothermal energy was used by humans during the Paleolithic period in the form of hot water from Hot springs. But the innovation of generating electricity from this heat from Earth came very recently. It acquired importance because it is eco-friendly and sustainable. The entire humankind can rely on geothermal resources for their energy needs only if advanced technologies were available in every country.
But now only some countries use this energy. As a result of growth in technology the cost of generating geothermal energy has also been reduced. But this energy comes at a little greater cost to people. But eco-conscious people are ready to pay some more money.
The first geothermal plant to be successful is in the United States. America is the greatest user of geothermal energy. Geothermal plants are commonly located near the tectonic plate edges. Geothermal demonstration projects in Switzerland triggered an earthquake after which it was shut down. Philippines, Mexico, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Turkey, etc are some of the countries using geothermal energy.
Water is heated with the help of the high temperature of the earth and the steam is separated. This steam is used to generate electric current. For the heating purpose, wells are drilled, these wells act as reservoirs. Water is injected into it to heat up. However, the water heated brings toxic gases like hydrogen sulfide and methane with it. This is one of the concerns of geothermal energy.
Main Differences Between Wind Energy and Geothermal Energy
- Wind energy is generated with the help of wind turbines situated at wind farms. While geothermal energy uses heat from the earth’s mantle
- Wind energy is pollution-free and eco-friendly but, geothermal energy produces toxic gases like hydrogen sulfide, methane, and carbon dioxide
- Wind energy is widely used in many countries but, geothermal energy is currently being used in only a few countries
- The cost and maintenance of wind energy is low compared to geothermal energy while geothermal plants are costly to construct and maintain
- Wind farms do not release chemicals into the environment whereas, Geothermal plants may release toxic chemical compounds like arsenic, boron, antimony, and mercury.
Pollution and climate change are the two great crises the world is facing. Both these are caused due to various manmade activities. We pollute the environment and destroy various habitats. We exploit natural resources. Nonrenewable resources cannot be brought back once exhausted. So, better options for using renewable resources are considered. Moreover, nonrenewable resource usage like coal-burning leads to air pollution.
While utilizing renewable sources is far better. Wind farms do not pollute the environment. But, the construction of these farms can destruct the natural habitat of that place. This can cause biodiversity loss. Geothermal energy generation contributes to a small amount of air pollution. Though both these have negative effects they are better than many other energy generation methods.