Often, new and unfamiliar technologies fall victim to false beliefs, sustained by word of mouth and social media, which ultimately block the implementation of innovative projects. Geothermal energy is not immune to this issue, as it is subject to numerous myths and misconceptions. 
A thorough analysis of the main false myths reveals that the primary concerns about geothermal energy are often inaccurate and without scientific basis and knowledge of the technology. 

What are the main reasons for false myths and inaccurate perceptions? 

The common perception of geothermal energy in Italy, for example, is influenced by both a lack of information and negative communication from media outlets, which tend to associate geothermal energy with words like “risks,” “danger,” and “disadvantages.” Positive terms such as “opportunity” and “enhancement” rarely appear, highlighting the presence of misconceptions, particularly regarding environmental and landscape impacts.  

What are the main false myths on geothermal energy?  

 False True Explanation 
“There is a high-water usage by geothermal plants.” The water usage of zero-emission geothermal plants is zero. 

Compared to an average of 0.55 liters per kWh for other renewable sources (wind and solar). In geothermal plants, an air condenser allows the steam to be converted back into liquid, which can be reused within the production cycle, thus avoiding the exploitation of water resources. 
“Geothermal plants have high land use.” Geothermal energy is the renewable source with the lowest land use per energy produced. Geothermal plants, with 0.18 km² per TWh for traditional plants and 0.20 km² per TWh for zero-emission plants, have the lowest land use per energy produced. In contrast, other renewable sources (wind and solar) have a land use average approximately 63 times higher. 
“Geothermal energy causes significant landscape damage.” Geothermal energy has become a reason for landscape and architectural enhancement. The “Valle Secolo” Geothermal Power Plant in Larderello, built in 1904, stands as an important historical testament and a symbol of technological progress in the energy sector of the last century. New binary cycle geothermal plants have lower visual impact and are innovatively designed to be harmoniously integrated in the landscape. 
“Geothermal energy has a significant emission impact, releasing more greenhouse gas emissions than the area would emit in the absence of this technology.” Innovations in Geothermal technology have led to the creation of zero-emission plants.” Technological advancements with geothermal binary system adoption are driving geothermal towards the development of zero-emission plants with total fluid reinjection.  These currently account for 25% of global geothermal power, a 13% increase over the past 6 years. Leveraging on this innovative plant means relying on a renewable source that ensures high, constant, and sustainable production of electrical and thermal energy in various applications. 
“The applications of geothermal energy are limited.” Beyond electricity production, the potential applications of geothermal energy are highly strategic. Geothermal energy enables the production of electricity, thermal exploitation for heating purposes, the extraction of critical raw materials (e.g. lithium), and the production of green hydrogen, ensuring a continuous and stable supply of electricity to power electrolyzers. 

What are other additional benefits of geothermal energy?  

There are some others benefits that are worth to analyse.  
Unlike other renewable energy technologies, zero-emission geothermal plants are potentially 100% recyclable at the end of their lifecycle, ensuring a positive impact on the real lifetime cost of the plant. 

Most components of a geothermal plant are made from recyclable materials (such as steel, copper, plastic, and aluminum), and the geothermal fluids used in zero-emission plants are completely reinjected into the subsoil throughout the plant’s lifecycle, creating closed systems with zero impact. 

 A sustainable development opportunity lies in the conversion and reuse of non-operational oil wells, of which there are over 5,000 in Italy, for geothermal production. This would reduce the costs associated with exploration and drilling activities and accelerate the activation process of geothermal projects. 


In conclusion, addressing the misconceptions surrounding geothermal energy is crucial for promoting its benefits and advancing sustainable development. By highlighting the environmental advantages, efficient land use, and application flexibility, geothermal energy can be positioned as a key player in the renewable energy landscape. 

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