Geothermal energy is a huge potential source of energy for Japan as there is a lot of volcanic activity due to it being located on plate boundaries. Geothermal energy is produced when magma below the earth’s surface heats water. This is used in hot springs or ‘onsens’ to create the natural warm water for bathing. However, in geothermal energy the process is used to create steam which turns a turbine which is connected to a generator that produces electricity. Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source which is one of the most environmentally friendly sources of energy due to their low carbon emissions, high efficiency and relatively low power usage in the generation of electricity. Currently only 0.2% of Japan’s energy is sourced from geothermal energy but this could potentially rise exponentially, sourcing 10% of Japan’s energy by 2050. This could create new jobs and generate a large amount of energy in a relatively clean way. However, there are some possible downfalls of geothermal energy as it could adversely affect hot-spring resorts and building geothermal plants is an expensive process and is not particularly attractive.
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