The Importance of Electricity

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What is Electricity?
Electricity is one of the most powerful forces in our lives.  As a matter of fact, it can even kill you.  The most vital part of electricity is called electric energy.  This is what we commonly think of when we hear the word electricity.  “Electricity” reminds us of anything that we plug into an electrical outlet in order to make it work, such as lights, refrigerators, video games, microwaves, and computers. Scientists discovered ways to produce electric energy in large amounts in order to make heat, light and motion.  These discoveries have improved our lives greatly and for many of us it would be difficult to picture what life would be like without electricity. What Are Some of the Problems With Electricity and Fossil Fuels? One of the most common ways to produce electricity is through the burning of fossil fuels.  Fossil fuels include coal, oil, and natural gas.  When fossil fuels are burned, they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which leads to acid rain and global warming.  These are big problems for our environment. Another concern is that we will eventually run out of fossil fuels.  Fossil fuels are non-renewable sources of energy because it takes millions of years to create them.  That's why it's so important that we start to develop better ways to use renewable sources of energy such as wind and water power to create electric energy. How Does Electricity Work?

Everything in the world, including air, humans, water, etc. is made up of atoms, or tiny invisible particles.  Protons and neutrons join together to form the nucleus or center of the atom.  Electrons, which are even smaller, spin around the nucleus of the atom.  When electrons move from one atom to another, they form electricity.  All right, but how do these protons and neutrons help make my computer work at home?  In today’s world, huge generators at power plants make electricity by using coal, natural gas, uranium, water, or wind.  Electric current travels through transformers which push the power a long distance through transmission lines that run across countries.  The current often goes through a substation and then travels on smaller power lines or along underground cables through your neighborhood.  A service drop is a pole that connects the power line to your house.  The current runs through a meter that adds up how much electricity your family uses. Then the electricity goes into a service panel in your basement or garage.  Finally, the electrical current moves through the wires in the wall of your house to all of the outlets and switches in your house.  Now you know why your computer will work when you turn it on. Why Do We Need to Conserve Electricity?

Every year, many industrialized countries around the world use more energy than they did the year before.  Some experts say that the total amount of energy Americans use doubles every twenty years.  One of the biggest problems is that a lot of this energy is wasted.  There are many reasons why we need to conserve, or use less, electricity.  First of all, if we conserve electricity, we save money because electricity costs money.  If you conserve electricity every single day, you can save lots and lots of money over time.  You can spend this money on other things that you need and want.  Another reason why we need to conserve electricity is because conserving electricity means that we are using less of the earth’s non-renewable resources.  Non-renewable resources are gone forever once we use them up.  Examples are oil, natural gas, uranium, and coal which are used to create electricity.  Therefore, wasting electricity is not good for the environment. Yet another reason that we need to conserve energy is to make up for some of the energy that is wasted due to the fact that a lot of people do not do enough reducing, reusing, and recycling of their garbage. Companies use electricity to produce lots of unnecessary items since many consumers do not use and reuse things as...
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