lunes, 4 de abril de 2011

Renewable Energy

Now that oil prices are getting more and more expensive different countries are focusing on Renewable energy as an alternative energy source. Many countries now are depending on non-renewable energy source like; coal, oil and natural gas to supply most of their energy needs, but reliance on this non-renewable energy or fossil fuels presents a big problem. World supply of fossil fuels is limited, eventually the world will run out of it and it will even be more costly to get the remaining supply of those fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are hydrocarbon deposit, such as petroleum, coal or natural gas, formed over millions and millions of years by the action of heat from the Earth's core and pressure from rock and soil on the remains(or "fossils") of dead plants and animals.

Renewable and non-renewable energy sources are used to produce a secondary energy sources which includes electricity and hydrogen. We use this energy sources to generate electricity we need for our homes, businesses, factories, cars etc.

Two Sources of Energy:

·         Renewable Energy - energy source that can be replenished in a short period of time. Sources; Wind, Geothermal, Water, Biomass, Solar

·         Non-Renewable Energy - energy source that we are using up and cannot recreate in a short period of time. Sources; Oil, Coal, Natural Gas, Nuclear

a. Negative Effect of Non-Renewable Energy Fossil Fuels:

·         Fossil Fuels causes air, water and soil pollution.

·         It also produces greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

b. Benefits of Renewable Energy Source:

·         Renewable energy sources offer clean alternative to fossil fuels.

·         RE produces little or no pollution or greenhouse gases.

·         RE will never run out

Kinds of Renewable Energy:

·         Solar energy which comes from the sun can be turned as electricity and heat. Solar panels on the roofs of houses, building and other establishment are use to store the solar energy. The sun's energy harnessed by the panels runs generators which provide electricity. There are stand-alone solar panels that you can put in your yard to save the sun's energy in a generator.

·         Geothermal energy is an energy that comes from the heat inside the earth. It's simple technology that involves boring a hole into the ground to take the heat from the earth's crust. The heat that comes off is used to heat water and make steam to power generators to make electricity.

·         Biomass energy is from the plant and trees. This energy alternative makes use of husks that come off rice after it is harvested and the waste from the corn. This "biomass" can be burned in a power station built for such a purpose. It emits less pollution than if the waste was left to rot, because it would produce a lot of methane.

Sources: Wood (most common source), plants, agricultural waste, industrial waste, even methane gas from community landfills.

Uses: fuel for transportation or to manufacture product that would otherwise use fossil fuels.

·         Water Energy - the natural evaporation/precipitation cycle makes water a renewable source of energy. The heat of the sun causes water in lakes and ocean to evaporate and form clouds. The water then falls back to earth as rain or snow, and goes to the rivers and streams that flow back to the ocean. Moving water can be used to power water wheels that drive mechanical processes. Water Wheels are useful for generating mechanical energy to grind grain or saw wood, but are not practical for generating electricity because it is bulky and slow. Water energy emits about 30 times less greenhouse gas than modern natural gas power plants and 60 times less than coal-fired plant, which makes it a clean source of energy.

·         Wind Energy is captured by wind turbines and used to generate electricity. The costs of wind energy are going down as mass manufacture of turbines becomes more accepted. It costs the same as setting up a new coal or nuclear power station. More importantly, external cost to health care and the effects of acid rain are 50times less than when using coal.

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