Global warming and saving the planet is a popular topic these days. But the reoccurring question that everyone asks is how can we stop it or what can we do to help? The general answer is to reduce your carbon footprint and lead a greener life. Recycling is an obvious avenue to take but most people these days are becoming increasingly interested in green energy not just because of the environmental benefits but because of the money they will save in the long run.
Some of the most known types of green energy include hydropower, solar power, wind power, and geothermal power. Hydropower can be found in the form of dams that channel water and turn turbines. Hydropower goes hand in hand with geothermal power where heat from magma is used to create steam which turns the turbines. Wind power is the same idea; wind gusts turn windmills, which in turn turbines that create electricity. Solar power is more complicated but the gist is that there are solar panels that harvest sunlight and convert it to workable electricity.
Unfortunately although those who would want to invest in green energy would save money in the long run it takes a large sum of money to get these projects started. Also many people question the practicality of some methods like solar energy and others speak out against giant windmills that will litter and ruin the landscape.
This has led scientists and engineers to search for ways to make green energy more readily available for people to use. One method that was recently proposed by two engineers at the University of Oviedo is to use old mine shafts for geothermal energy. Turning these old shafts into geothermal boilers could provide electricity and hot water to entire towns.
The problem is that these engineers have spent the past few years trying to determine how much heat could be generated by these abandoned mine shafts. But when the shaft is abandoned it makes it hard for them to conduct proper experiments to determine these figures. But from one mine shaft that they have been able to study that has only been recently shut down they said that if water could be pumped in at seven degrees Celsius then it would generate enough heat to be beneficial to local towns.
Geothermal energy could greatly reduce energy use because hot water could be provided and steam used to generate some electricity. The two engineers concluded that although more specifics need to be determined this could turn out to be a very sustainable energy resource but that if it is to be used then mine shafts will need to be converted immediately following their shut down in order to prevent deterioration which could cause safety issues in the long run. I think this is a brilliant idea that should be investigated by all countries especially the United States because this could be a step in the right direction towards sustainable energy.