Geothermal resource utilization although widely accepted as a clean energy source, has also contributed to the decreasing of air quality due to carbon dioxide emissions. Several studies have shown that CO2 emissions from geothermal systems occur naturally and in some cases these natural emissions exceed the amount of CO2 emitted from the geothermal power plant utilizing the geothermal resource.
Geothermal technologies produce little or no greenhouse gas emissions since no burning processes are involved. Geothermal development estimates for 2050 indicate that CO2 emissions could be mitigated by 100s of Mt/year with power generation from geothermal resources and more than 300 Mt/year with direct use, most of which could be achieved by geothermal heat pumps.
The environmental benefits of geothermal development are obvious: increasing development can help to mitigate the effects of global warming. The societal benefits are developing in parallel: the positive effects are also increasing, regionally and globally. More importantly, improved and increased injection to sustain reservoir resources has diminished the CO2 released from geothermal power plants.
Acknowledgements The author would like to thank Dr. Isfendiyar Egeli for reviewing his paper.
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