Heat from the earth in the form of geothermal energy can be put to several uses. It can be used for power generation in small as well as complex power plants. Geothermal power can also be used in pumping systems. It is an affordable and sustainable source of energy that can reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, reduce global warming and also preserve the environment.
Geothermal power can be used commercially. However, the commercial use of geothermal power is influenced by many factors.
One factor that has an effect on the commercial use of geothermal power is the capital costs involved in setting up a geothermal power plant. Usually these costs are high. There are no fuel costs and geothermal power plants are structured so that they can cover up the capital costs within a few years of operation.
Another factor on which the use geothermal power depends is the operating and maintenance cost. The operating and maintenance cost depends upon the number of times the power plant runs. If the geothermal power plant runs many times, the operating and maintenance costs increase.
The use of geothermal power also depends upon the average cost. This cost must be low over the life of the power plant.
The use of geothermal power also has several economic impacts. One such impact is the reduction in trade deficits because with the generation of geothermal power, nations do not need to depend upon other nations for fuels. It has also created several employment opportunities. Geothermal power has become an important source of power and revenue.