The Importance of Water Resources in the Extraction of Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is among potential “semi-global” natural energy resources, as it is only accessible and affordable in economic terms in hot and limited areas around the globe. It is also considered to be relatively user friendly, more energy-intensive in comparison to solar energy, has less threats in case of technical failure as compared to nuclear power, simple and more safe production-technology in terms of drift and above all more durable and lasing natural source. It is indeed a form of “fossil resource” as being a remainder from the Big Bang. However, unlike energy produced in stars such as in the sun (solar energy) through fusion-reactions, energy in planets such as the earth is being produced through decay processes of the primordial radio-activity. Actually, without the embedded sources of heat in the earth’s body, i.e. the energy emitted through the decay of natural radio-activity, e.g. the radio-active members of the U and Th series, and many other radio-active isotopes of other elements that can have half-lives much longer than the age of the universe itself, e.g. Te-128 of half-life of 2.2 exa millions (billion billion millions) of years.

The most interesting issue in energy production and use is that water in always involved in these processes with two main impacts what concerns WE-resources, i.e. Water and Energy.  For energy we are consuming more energy resources and thereby less we are gradually facing less access to energy resources and as a consequence increasing prices of energy production. As energy production, use and consumption create more waste and pollution as well as bring water to more open systems and interactions there is continuous and gradual degradation in water quality and thereby increasing threats to all life forms on the earth.

So, production and use of geothermal energy can be, also, associated with negative impacts on water resources, environment and bio-diversity.

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