Types of energy, and energy resources.

Topics: Potential energy, Fossil fuel, Solar energy Pages: 5 (628 words) Published: November 23, 2002
[Energy resources]:

The 2 broad types

Pros and Cons of each type

Ways in which they are harnessed

There two main types of energy these are:

1. Potential energy

2. Kinetic energy

Potential energy

Potential energy is energy stored due to position. The following are some example in which potential energy can be found.

1. Wound-up spring

When a spring of a dock work toy car unwinds, the stored energy in the spring drives the wheels and the car moves. The wound-up spring is said to posse potential energy.

2. A raised object

An object raised to a height above the Earth's surface posse potential energy due to its position. Other objects possessing potential energy include;

3. Cultputt with a stone

4. An arrow pulled on the bow

5. Magnets

Kinetic energy

This is the energy possessed by a moving body.

Example include the following:

1. A moving car

When a car is moving it is said to posses kinetic energy. This energy depends on the moving.

2. When a boulder on a top of a hill is hurled down its energy changes from potential energy to kinetic energy.

Energy resources

Energy resources are stores of convertible energy. These resources are divided into two groups:

Non renewable resources which include fossil fuels (e.g. coal, oil and gas) and nuclear fuels.

Renewable resources, which include wind, tidal, geothermal, and hydroelectric power.

Non renewable sources

Are used in thermal power stations to produce heat energy that turns water into steam. The steam drives turbines and in turn drives the generators that produce electrical energy.

Fossil fuels

Coal, oil and natural gas are all called fossil fuels because they are fossilized remains of plants and animals that live million of years ago. Burning fossil fuels release chemicals that cause acid rain, and its gradually increasing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causing global warming.


Largest energy source. Future use will depend on shift from growing to declining supply.


The most plentiful fossil fuel. Coal use is growing, intensifying problems of acid rain and carbon dioxide.

Natural gas

Likely to replace oil in a number of uses. Uneven distribution and transportation difficulties make it useful to only a few nations.

Nuclear fuels

The energy of the fossil fuels is released in a nuclear reactor from the uranium. Their fuels create environmental problems if only radiation leakage occurs.

Renewable resources

In most cases energy source is used to drive turbines directly as it explained in the early cases of hydroelectric, wind, wave, tidal and geothermal schemes.

Solar energy

Many renewable resources take advantage of the energy in sunlight. The Sun's energy can be trapped directly by photovoltaic cells, which convert light into electricity. Other solar energy plants use mirrors to direct sunlight onto pipes containing a liquid. The liquid boils and is used to drive an electricity generator. The Sun's energy also drives the wind and waves, so energy produced by wind farms and wave-driven generators is also derived from the sun.

Gravitational energy

Hydroelectric and tidal power stations make use of gravitational forces. The Earth's gravity pulls water downward through the turbines in a hydroelectric power station. In a tidal power station, the Moons gravity lifts water as the tides rise, giving the water potential energy (energy due to position) which is released as the water flows through a turbine.

Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy (the heat energy of hot rocks deep beneath the Earth's surface) is due to gravity compressing and heating the rocks when the earth formed.

Wind energy

Wind turbines with two or three blades cover up to 30m long drive electric generators.

Wave energy

A wave-energy converter transfers sea waves into the rotary motion required to drive a generator.

Biomass (vegetable fuels)

This includes...
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