Geothermal Energy Questions and Answers – Environmental Consideration

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This set of Geothermal Energy Multiple Choice Questions & Answers (MCQs) focuses on “Environmental Consideration”.

1. Which of the following is a problem with a geothermal resource?
a) Noise pollution
b) Low greenhouse gas emission
c) Polluting water
d) Reversing damage to wildlife habitat
View Answer

Answer: a
Explanation: Noise pollution is one of the major problems caused due to establishment of a power plant near a geothermal resource. Also, the plant continuously uses and reuses water for cooling thereby affecting the local fresh water resources. It does not pollute water.
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2. Which of the following gases are released by a geothermal power plant?
a) Carbon
b) Sulphur
c) Sulphate
d) Argon
View Answer

Answer: b
Explanation: Sulphur, hydrogen sulphide and oxides of nitrogen and sulphur are released by a geothermal power plant. All these gases are harmful as they cause acid rain. Carbon is not a gas. Sulphates exist in liquid or solid form.

3. Why do binary power plants emit less amounts of pollutants?
a) Because they release steam into the atmosphere
b) Because they release steam into a local water body
c) Because they inject water back into the ground without any atmospheric exposition
d) Because they inject water back into the ground after atmospheric exposition
View Answer

Answer: c
Explanation: Binary power plants emit less amounts of pollutants because they inject water back into the ground without any atmospheric exposition. They also treat the steam before releasing into the atmosphere.
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4. Which of the following best describes the cause for noise pollution due to a geothermal power plant?
a) Emission of gases
b) Ecological destruction
c) Damaging wildlife habitat
d) Drilling wells
View Answer

Answer: d
Explanation: Drilling wells is the major cause of noise pollution due to geothermal power plants. The other options do not cause noise pollution. Drilling may also affect wildlife habitat and ecology.

5. Geothermal plants use about 20L of fresh water per MWh.
a) True
b) False
View Answer

Answer: a
Explanation: Geothermal plants use about 20L of fresh water per MWh. This is negligible when compared to coal plants which use about 1370L of fresh water per MWh.
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6. ________ water is used by The Geysers facility in California.
a) Fresh
b) Waste
c) Hot
d) Cold
View Answer

Answer: b
Explanation: Waste water is used by The Geysers facility in California for cooling purposes. In fact, the geothermal plant also treats the water and injects it back into the reservoir thereby reducing surface pollution.

7. What are the two main land use problems due to a geothermal power plant?
a) Minor earthquakes
b) Minor earthquakes and greenhouse gas emissions
c) Minor earthquakes and subsidence
d) Removal of magma and subsidence
View Answer

Answer: c
Explanation: The two main land use problems due to geothermal power plants are induced seismicity (minor earthquakes) and subsidence. Subsidence is gradual caving in of land. Geothermal power plants do not add to greenhouse gas emissions. As a matter of fact, this is not related to land use problems.
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8. How are subsidence and induced seismicity mitigated?
a) By removing the fluid
b) By removing the gas
c) By drilling deeper wells
d) By injecting spent fluid back into the reservoir
View Answer

Answer: d
Explanation: Subsidence and induced seismicity are caused by removal of the fluid present in the reservoir. They can be mitigated by injecting spent fluid back into the reservoir. Drilling deeper wells will only add to the problem.

9. Geothermal plants are located near the reservoir.
a) False
b) True
View Answer

Answer: a
Explanation: Geothermal plants are located far away from the reservoir. This is done to prevent impacts on the reservoir due to extraction of fluid.
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10. Which of the following geothermal power plants have no significant impact on natural features.
a) Binary cycle
b) Direct use
c) High temperature
d) Coal
View Answer

Answer: b
Explanation: Direct use geothermal power plants have no significant impact on its surroundings. This is because it is small and directly use the fluid present in the reservoir without any (or much) auxiliary processing. Coal power plant is not a geothermal power plant.

11. Utilizing geothermal resources eliminates _________
a) sulphur emissions
b) usage of power grid
c) mining
d) earthquakes
View Answer

Answer: c
Explanation: Utilizing geothermal resources eliminates mining and transportation of electricity. It uses power grid to distribute the generated electricity to the consumers. Sulphur emissions and earthquakes are the problems caused due to geothermal power plants.

12. If a geothermal power plant is located near a reservoir, fluid from _______ reservoir is used.
a) the same
b) another neighbouring
c) coal
d) another far away
View Answer

Answer: d
Explanation: If a geothermal power plant is located near a reservoir, fluid from another far away reservoir is used. This is to prevent unwanted impacts on the reservoir near the plant’s location.

13. Which of the following is most responsible for increasing usage of geothermal power plants?
a) Efficient heat pumps
b) More sites
c) Less sites
d) Poor heat pumps
View Answer

Answer: a
Explanation: Efficient heat pumps are responsible for increasing usage of geothermal power plants across the globe. Heat pumps transfer heat energy from a source of heat to a thermal reservoir (not same as geothermal reservoir).

14. Which of the following countries mainly use “direct-use” geothermal.
a) United States
b) Iceland
c) Iran
d) Greenland
View Answer

Answer: b
Explanation: Iceland is a nation built on about 130 volcanoes. It rests above a divergent plate boundary which brings continuous supply magma. Along with Turkey, it mainly uses “direct-use” geothermal energy.

15. Impacts on land, impacts on surrounding environment and gaseous emissions are the three main problems due to geothermal power plants.
a) True
b) False
View Answer

Answer: a
Explanation: Impacts on land, impacts on surrounding environment and gaseous emissions are the three main problems due to geothermal power plants. While impacts on surrounding environment is regulated by a detailed survey of the area, the gaseous emissions are being mitigated by pre-treatment of effluents.

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Manish Bhojasia, a technology veteran with 20+ years @ Cisco & Wipro, is Founder and CTO at Sanfoundry. He is Linux Kernel Developer & SAN Architect and is passionate about competency developments in these areas. He lives in Bangalore and delivers focused training sessions to IT professionals in Linux Kernel, Linux Debugging, Linux Device Drivers, Linux Networking, Linux Storage, Advanced C Programming, SAN Storage Technologies, SCSI Internals & Storage Protocols such as iSCSI & Fiber Channel. Stay connected with him @ LinkedIn | Youtube | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter