Our earth had undergone a wild transformation over the years and made our life so much easier. But it had a negative impact on our environment like too much heating up of the earth.
In order to reduce the heat, we must learn to use alternative ways for energy. The two most efficient alternative ways are solar and geothermal energy.
Solar Energy vs Geothermal Energy
The difference between solar energy and geothermal energy is the climatic condition existing in a place. Solar energy requires heat and it can be used to extract energy in places where there could be more sunny days instead of rainy days while geothermal energy releases more heat into the surroundings and is widely used in colder areas.
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Solar energy is a renewable resource that can benefit our lives and the health of the earth. Solar energy uses the sunlight or the heat from the sun to produce or generate electricity.
It is becoming common these days as the cost of running these solar panels is quite cheap and it is a renewable resource which means that they cannot be exhausted.
Geothermal energy also generates electricity by trapping the heat. But instead of getting the heat from the sun, it uses the heat which is buried deep inside the soil.
It uses an element called magma which is buried deep inside the soil and as hot as the sun. Sometimes, the heat which will be trapped inside the geothermal can also be let outwards.
|Parameters of Comparison||Solar Energy||Geothermal Energy|
|Climatic conditions||Used in highly sunny places as it requires sun heat.||Generally, used in colder places.|
|Source of heat||Heat for solar energy is taken from the sun.||Heat for geothermal energy is taken from the magma.|
|Cost of installation||The cost of installation of solar energy is quite cheaper in comparison to geothermal energy.||The cost of installation of geothermal energy is quite expensive in comparison to solar energy.|
|Long-term benefits||In the longer term, the benefits derived from solar energy are comparatively less.||In the longer term, the benefits derived from geothermal energy are more.|
|Technology used||Solar energy uses concentrated solar thermal (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV).||Geothermal energy uses geothermal power plants & geothermal heat pumps.|
What is Solar Energy?
Solar energy is one of the best renewable energy that doesn’t get exhausted or destroyed by using it. Currently, it is widely used all over the world as an alternative way for generating electricity.
Since our older methods of generating electricity had a negative impact on the earth, we need to concentrate on reducing the temperature of the earth.
Solar energy is commonly installed in places where there will be more sunny days than rainy days as solar energy requires the heat of the sun to generate electricity.
It traps the heat of the sun and generates electricity by using two technologies which are concentrated solar thermal (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV).
In concentrated solar thermal power (CSP), the heat of the sun is trapped and is used to melt the liquid which will then produce electricity.
In photovoltaic, PV cells are used to capture the sunlight and lose the electron so formed to create an electricity flow, and hence the electricity flow will be captured through the wires. The PV method is commonly used these days.
It is very important to know the scope for solar energy and use it wisely as solar energy helps to reduce the temperature of the earth and recover the earth from the damages incurred in the past.
What is Geothermal Energy?
Geothermal energy is another best renewable energy used to reduce the temperature of the earth.
In comparison to solar energy, geothermal energy is not widely used as it requires more advanced technologies and high investment for the installation of the plant.
But the benefits that we reap are quite profitable for all the investments made.
Geothermal energy is generally installed in colder places. It also uses the heat to generate electricity but uses the heat from the magma that is buried deep inside the soil.
Magma is an element that will be available deep down the soil and as hot as the sun. It traps the heat from the magma and uses it to generate electricity.
While doing so, the heat may be released outwards and hence it is installed in colder regions.
There are two ways to trap the heat and generate electricity through geothermal energy. Those are geothermal power plants and geothermal heat pumps.
The geothermal power plants are those drills that dig several miles deep inside the earth in search of magma. The geothermal heat pumps are also similar to the geothermal power plants but dig only a few feet.
Hence, geothermal energy is essential to reduce the temperature of the earth and for a healthy life.
Main Differences Between Solar Energy and Geothermal Energy
- Geothermal energy requires quite advanced technologies for trapping heat and generating electricity while solar energy is quite easy.
- Geothermal energy is expensive in comparison to solar energy.
- After the gestation period of 8 to 10 years, the benefits reaped from geothermal energy are large in comparison to solar energy.
- Solar energy uses the heat from the sun while geothermal uses the heat of magma that is buried deep inside the soil.
- Solar energy can be used in summer times as it requires sun while geothermal energy can be used in winter times as it releases heat while generating electricity.
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.