AP Environmental Science Mr. Grant Lesson 102. Wind Energy & Geothermal Energy. Objectives:. Define the term ground source heat pumps (GSHPs). Describe wind power and how we harness it, and evaluate its benefits and drawbacks.
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Ground Source Heat Pumps
A pump that harnesses geothermal energy from near-surface sources of earth and water, and that can help heat residences.
Wind power could meet 20% of the electrical needs of the entire U.S. by 2030
Prevents the release of CO2, SO2, NOx, mercury
It is more efficient than conventional power sources
EROI = 23:1 (nuclear = 16:1; coal = 11:1)
Turbines use less water than conventional power plants
Local areas can become more self-sufficient
Farmers and ranchers can lease their land
Produces extra revenue while still using the land
Advancing technology is also reducing the cost of wind farm constructionWind power has many benefits
Limitations on relying on it for electricity
Batteries or hydrogen fuel can store the energy
Wind sources are not always near population centers that need energy
Transmission networks need to be expanded
Local residents often oppose them
Not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) syndrome
Turbines threaten birds and bats, which can be killed when they fly into rotating bladesWind power has some downsides
Mountainous regions have the most wind and wind turbines
15% of U.S. energy demand could be met using 16,600 mi2 of land (less than 5% is occupied by turbines and roads)