Solar Energy vs Geothermal Energy: Difference and Comparison

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.

Key Takeaways

  1. Solar energy relies on sunlight, making it an abundant but intermittent resource, while geothermal energy harnesses heat from the Earth’s core, providing a consistent power supply.
  2. Geothermal energy has lower environmental impacts than solar energy, as it produces fewer emissions and requires less land for installation.
  3. Solar energy systems are easier to install and maintain, making them a more popular choice for residential and small-scale applications. In contrast, geothermal energy is better suited for large-scale projects and industrial uses.

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.

Solar Energy vs Geothermal Energy

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.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSolar EnergyGeothermal Energy
Climatic conditionsUsed in highly sunny places as it requires sun heat.Generally, used in colder places.
Source of heatHeat for solar energy is taken from the sun.Heat for geothermal energy is taken from the magma.
Cost of installationThe 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 benefitsIn 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 usedSolar 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.

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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.

solar energy

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 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.

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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.

geothermal energy

Main Differences Between Solar Energy and Geothermal Energy

  1. Geothermal energy requires quite advanced technologies for trapping heat and generating electricity while solar energy is quite easy.
  2. Geothermal energy is expensive in comparison to solar energy.
  3. After the gestation period of 8 to 10 years, the benefits reaped from geothermal energy are large in comparison to solar energy.
  4. Solar energy uses the heat from the sun while geothermal uses the heat of magma that is buried deep inside the soil.
  5. 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.
Difference Between Solar Energy and Geothermal Energy
References
  1. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9781315065786/geothermal-energy-mary-dickson-mario-fanelli
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=QUNODwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT12&dq=solar+energy&ots=ZxvTdDDLAr&sig=pxlsf9VJiG0uFepTeo9IvTk2qKA

Last Updated : 04 July, 2023

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12 thoughts on “Solar Energy vs Geothermal Energy: Difference and Comparison”

  1. As promising as solar and geothermal energy are, the high initial investment and advanced technology requirements remain significant barriers to widespread adoption.

    Reply
    • Indeed, the economic and technological challenges associated with solar and geothermal energy present formidable obstacles to their mainstream utilization.

      Reply
  2. The potential of solar and geothermal energy to reduce environmental impacts and provide consistent power supply is undeniable. Harnessing these resources effectively will be critical for addressing the challenges of climate change.

    Reply
  3. Using alternative sources of energy like solar and geothermal power is the way forward, but I think it will take a lot more effort to get the public to truly embrace them.

    Reply
  4. We need to move beyond traditional energy sources to safeguard our environment and our future. I believe solar and geothermal energy are viable solutions to the climate crisis.

    Reply
    • I agree. It’s crucial that we shift our focus to renewable sources of energy to combat climate change and protect our ecosystems.

      Reply
    • The transition to alternative energy sources such as solar and geothermal energy is not only necessary but inevitable if we are to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

      Reply
  5. The key differences between solar and geothermal energy, such as costs, environmental impacts, and climatic conditions, must be carefully examined to determine the suitability of these alternative energy sources for different regions and applications.

    Reply
    • I agree. Understanding the unique characteristics of solar and geothermal energy is crucial for devising effective energy policies and sustainable development plans.

      Reply
    • Absolutely. It’s essential to conduct comprehensive assessments of their advantages and disadvantages to make informed decisions about energy transition strategies.

      Reply

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