Saving Gaia
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Geothermal energy is generating more than electricity at the moment. It is creating some controversy due to the method of extracting energy.
Geothermal energy by itself is a source of clean and renewable energy. It taps on the simmering heat within the earth's bedrock.
It is a constant source of energy waiting to be tapped, unlike wind and solar power, which are intermittent. So the expectation for geothermal energy is very high. For a long time, power companies have produced small amounts of electricity from geothermal energy by tapping into shallow steam beds, often beneath geysers or fumaroles. For geothermal energy to be used more widely, scientists need to find a way to tap on geothermal energy at a deeper level. There is a real risk of triggering large earthquakes because of drilling at greater depth.
The current technique to tap geothermal energy creates earthquakes because it involves injecting water at great pressure down holes drill deep into the bedrock. The high pressure water is used to fracture the bedrock. The opening of each fracture is, literally, a tiny earthquake in which subterranean stresses rip apart a weak vein, crack or fault in the rock. The high-pressure water acts as a lubricant that makes it easier for earth movement along the weak points, creating a large network of fractures. This greatly increases the risk of earthquakes.