What Is the Difference Between Geothermal Energy and Biomass Energy?

Alternative energy is quickly gaining traction as the world’s economies look to move away from fossil fuels. Two types of viable alternatives to oil, coal and natural gas are biomass and geothermal energies. Just as is the case with other alternative energy sources, there are distinct differences between these two renewable sources of power.


Biomass energy is heat or electricity produced from recently decayed living organisms such as wood, vegetable matter and fuel alcohol. Almost anything that is organic waste can be used to make biomass. Examples include ethanol, pure vegetable oil used in car engines and biodiesel.


Geothermal power comes from the earth in the form of stored heat. Natural hot springs are an example of geothermal power being harnessed in the form of hot mineral baths, something humans have done for thousands of years. At present, that same geothermal heat is being used to produce heat on a commercial scale. The inner workings of the earth constantly produce heat due in part to tectonic movement. For this reason, geothermal sources of heat proliferate where tectonic plates come into contact with one another.

Both biomass and geothermal power sources are renewable alternative energies that are clean and efficient. Although they both come from entirely natural sources, the first is a product of organic waste while the other is heat generated within the earth.