Interesting question stephenson. It is hard to answer questions that are either/or, as there are often so many considerations, and ultimately the answer is ‘it depends.’ In order to create an secure energy future, we will likely need to tap a variety of energy sources, and geothermal and hydro are both renewable energy sources that provide considerable benefits if used appropriately. Usually when people refer to hydro power, they are referring to the massive scale dams that have been constructed over the past 50 years throughout the world. I am not going to try to present here a concise arguement about the pros and cons of largescale hydro-electiricty, but will rather just say that smallscale hydro will likely have a more lasting place in our energy future than large dams such as the Hoover Dam or the 3 Gorges Dam in China.
Both geothermal and small-scale hydro require a certain degree of infrastructure, which translates into materials and resouces. But even tapping the earth’s heat to heat homes and water to 50 degreees F (the approximate temperature of the ground a few feet down) would significantly reduce the need for other energy sources. Small-scale hydro is well suited to create electricity and even through mechanical action can move water around without additional energy. So, in my vision of the future, we will be tapping both geothermal and hydro power to sustains us, but on a much smaller more localized scale than current energy systems.
I would say it does, because geothermal energy sources do not support as much life as water. Hydro power might disrupt river life thus making it intrusive for the natural ecosystem. Geothermal has much smaller, if any, life form support.
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