Science Energy

Topics: Hydroelectricity, Renewable energy, Fossil fuel Pages: 9 (2634 words) Published: December 19, 2012
Analysis at Work
Renewable and Non-renewable energy sources &Fuels:
Renewable energy comes from natural sources that are constantly and sustainably replenished. The most common renewable energy sources are biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal, wind power and solar power. Sunlight is the source of most renewable energy power; the sun can be used to produce solar energy which is electricity for heating, cooling, lighting homes and transportation. [1] Non-renewable energy is energy that comes from the ground and is not replaced in a relatively short amount of time. Fossil fuels are the main category of non-renewable energy sources. Fossil fuels include; coal, oil and natural gas. These resources come from animals and plants that have died millions of years ago and then decomposed to create a useable source of energy for humans. [2] Pros and Cons:

Non-renewable energy Sources and fuels:

Types | Pros | Cons |
Oil Crude oil is a fossil fuel that is refined into many different energy products (e.g., gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil). Oil forms underground in rock such as shale, which is rich in organic materials. | High net energy yield Easily transported within and between countries Low land use | Causes air pollution when burned Releases CO2 when burned Increases dependency on countries that are major oil producers | Natural Gas  Natural gas is a mixture of gases, the most common being methane. It also contains some ethane, propane, and butane. Natural gas is usually not contaminated with sulphur and is therefore the cleanest burning fossil fuel.  | Less air pollution than fossil fuel Lower CO2 emission than fossil fuel Moderate environmental impact | Lacks portability Releases CO2 when burned Extraction side effects | Nuclear  In most electric power plants, water is heated and converted into steam. In a nuclear power plant; the fission of uranium atoms in the reactor provides the heat to produce steam for generating electricity. | Large fuel supply Lower CO2 emission Low environmental effect while running without any accidents [3] | Large fuel supply Lower CO2 emission Low environmental effect while running without any accidents |

Renewable energy sources and fuel:

Types | Pros | Cons |
Biomass Biomass can be burned, gasified, fermented or processed to produce electricity. Biomass contains stored energy from the sun; Plants absorb the sun's energy in a process called photosynthesis. The chemical energy in plants gets passed on to animals and people that eat them. | Moderate costs Easy to convert to a high energy portable fuel such as alcohol or gas Very low in sulphur reducing the production of acid rain | Moderate to high environmental effect Soil erosion, water pollution, and loss of wildlife habitat More expensive than conventional fossil fuel | Solar Solar power is energy from the sun and converted into heat and electricity. It can provide power for cars, boats, houses and spacecraft. | Reduces dependency on fossil fuel and coal Renewable, endless supply that belongs to no one Low environmental effectNo CO2 emission | Low efficiency High costs Need access to sun most of the time | Wind Power Wind is a clean source of energy; areas with constant and strong winds can be used by wind turbines to generate electricity. | No CO2 emission Quick construction Does not produce wastes | Wind turbines are noisy Requires steady wind Visual pollution—Many people disapprove the idea to install because it can disrupt the landscape | Coal Coal requires ton of fuel to run and produce ton of waste. Coal contains small quantity of uranium, and other decay products such as radon but the volume coal can produce large amount of energy. | Cheap to use for energy Creates jobs for hundreds...
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