Why Commercial Real Estate Is Warming to Geothermal Power

Author Casaldra Andreassen Read bio
Date: December 30, 2021

Solar and wind power are easy to spot as one of the main providers in the real estate sustainability game. But, the less visible, and potentially even more effective, is geothermal power.

Harvesting geothermal energy from the earth’s interior means to be able to provide heat and hot water in buildings

But not only that!

As an environmentally-friendly resource, geothermal power has the potential to meet heating, cooling and electricity demands for many decades in the future.

Furthermore, the global climate crisis and changing economics have pressed the gas on the geothermal expansion more than ever, and geothermal energy as a sustainable and renewable energy source is still largely untapped. 

There are indeed many advantages of geothermal energy but with great power always come great challenges that we need to be overcome in order to fully exploit this natural resource.

Let’s get to know it better. Let’s try to form an opinion together…

The Uses of Geothermal Energy In The Industry

Geothermal energy is quite effectively used to preheat boilers and other process-feed water in a wide range of industries.

Practically, everywhere where people struggle with low temperatures, heat from the geothermal sources is necessary, and is ultimately provided geothermal brines. 

Depending on the technical organization of the concrete industrial process, the use of geothermal energy can be independent or in combination with the heat of other origins (fossil fuels, electricity, bioenergy, etc. 

Where does the commercial real estate fit in?

In commercial real estate or any other for that matter, industrial applications of geothermal energy are used for the processes like:

  • Preheating,
  • Washing
  • Peeling and blanching,
  • Evaporation and distilling,
  • Sterilizing,
  • Drying, and
  • Refrigeration

One principal consumer of geothermal energy is the food processing industry, with major uses in meat processing factories and warehousing.

Why is Geothermal Energy Important?

Geothermal energy is more environmentally friendly than conventional fuel sources ( coal and other fossil fuels). In addition, the carbon footprint of a geothermal power plant is low. 

Even though there is some pollution associated with geothermal energy, this is relatively minimal when compared to fossil fuels.

A great opportunity in tapping into an inexhaustible energy source can greatly reduce buildings’ enormous carbon footprint, but it can also help with more problems that we as Earth’s inhabitants need to be more concerned with.

It Answers the Problems of Renewable Energy Sources

Geothermal energy in commercial real estate not only brings environmental friendliness but its hot reservoirs within the Earth are naturally replenished.

It occurs naturally, making it both renewable and sustainable, so no resources are needed to fuel the processes.

Geothermal Energy Provides an Immense and Constant Source of Power

It is currently estimated that geothermal power plants could provide between 0.0035 and 2 terawatts of power.

Due to the ground being more resistant to seasonal heat changes than the air, it can act as a heat sink (cooling and heating) source with a geothermal heat pump just two meters below the surface

It’s also easy to calculate its power since energy levels do not fluctuate. we can predict its power output.

What About Disadvantages?

 The largest single disadvantage of geothermal energy is that it is location-specific. Geothermal plants need to be built in places where the energy is accessible.

Other disadvantages worth mentioning are on the environmental side. They are usually in concern with the effects due to digging, like fumes, potential earthquakes, high costs for executing the exploitation, etc.

Let’s wrap it up…

In an attempt to make geothermal more accessible and cost competitive, our scientists are developing energy-efficient, geothermal heating and cooling systems.

These systems can be easily accessible for owners, developers and other stakeholders involved in the design, construction, and operation of our future buildings and homes.

The main focus seems to be developing innovative solutions to reduce the cost of installing a clean and efficient geothermal system.

This will literally fuel the objective of increasing the adoption of clean and renewable geothermal energy. In practice, the application of geothermal energy serves as an alternative energy resource. 

This energy resource is certainly important for the future of energy and the environment and The reason that geothermal is expected to play an important role in the future is that we’re getting better and better at exploiting it.