Geothermal energy is one of the leading technologies in the field of renewable energy – but does this green solution come with potential dangers? Building owners and facility managers should always be on the lookout for cost-effective green solutions, but the potential dangers surrounding geothermal energy may surprise you.
Earthquakes. It may sound like something out of science-fiction, but techniques involving enhanced geothermal systems or EGS actually have the potential to cause earthquakes. This has particular significance for the utilization of EGS in cities and related facilities and industrial/manufacturing buildings.
A report from 2008 published by Domenico Giardini, Director of the Swiss Seismological Service, examines the phenomenon in some detail. Far from demonizing the emergent alternative energy of geothermal, Domenico encourages careful risk assessment when pursuing EGS ventures, with information and knowledge of these dangers shared within public, local, geothermal industry, and regulatory agency circles.
Scientific American covered the same topic back in 2009, exploring that although geothermal may be one of the best renewable energy resources currently available, it is not without its own exotic threats.
Balancing out the risks and dangers of geothermal with the significant and proven clean energy results will be the challenge for industry thought leaders to tackle in the coming years, with the mere acknowledgement of these hurdles taboo to discuss within the framework of green progressive ideologies.
As with many other sustainable technologies coming into the limelight, geothermal energy has remarkable potential – but also comes with some unique dangers.