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Transcript of Renewable Resources
Renewable resources are much easier to use than fossil fuels. They don't have to be mined and only require a suitable location.
Renewable resources are slowly rising in terms of usage, wind energy being one of the most used forms of energy after natural gas.
Energy sources like geothermal don't provide much energy but it is still more efficient and environmentally friendly in comparison to fossil fuels.
Renewable energy also pose less of a health and environmental risk than fossil fuels or nuclear energy do.
Hydroelectricity is electricity that is made by the movement of water. It is usually made with dams that block a river to make a reservoir or collect water that is pumped there. When the water is "let go", the huge pressure behind the dam forces the water down pipes that lead to a turbine. This causes the turbine to turn, which turns a generator which makes electricity. This use of renewable energy produces less pollution than steam engines do. Some places such as Norway and Quebec get most of their electricity this way.
Geothermal energy is the heat from the Earth. It's clean and sustainable. Resources of geothermal energy range from the shallow ground to hot water and hot rock found a few miles beneath the Earth's surface, and down even deeper to the extremely high temperatures of molten rock called magma.
Wind energy is actually a form of solar energy because wind is caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, variations in the earth's surface, and rotation of the earth. Wind energy (or wind power) describes the process by which wind is used to generate electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. A generator can convert mechanical power into electricity.
Solar power is energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy.
There are several ways to harness solar energy: photovoltaic (also called solar electric), solar heating & cooling, concentrating solar power (typically built at utility-scale), and passive solar.
The first three are active solar systems, which use mechanical or electrical devices that convert the sun's heat or light to another form of usable energy. Passive solar buildings are designed and oriented to collect, store, and distribute the heat energy from sunlight to maintain the comfort of the occupants without the use of moving parts or electronics.
Bio energy is renewable energy made available from materials derived from biological sources. Biomass is any organic material which has stored sunlight in the form of chemical energy. As a fuel it may include wood, wood waste, straw, manure, sugarcane, and many other by products from a variety of agricultural processes.
Renewable energy—wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and biomass—provides substantial benefits for our climate, our health, and our economy.
Human activity is overloading our atmosphere with carbon dioxide and other global warming emissions, which trap heat, steadily drive up the planet’s temperature, and create significant and harmful impacts on our health, our environment, and our climate.
Compared with natural gas, which emits between 0.6 and 2 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour (CO2E/kWh), and coal, which emits between 1.4 and 3.6 pounds of CO2E/kWh, wind emits only 0.02 to 0.04 pounds of CO2E/kWh, solar 0.07 to 0.2, geothermal 0.1 to 0.2, and hydroelectric between 0.1 and 0.5. Renewable electricity generation from biomass can have a wide range of global warming emissions depending on the resource and how it is harvested. Sustainably sourced biomass has a low emissions footprint, while unsustainable sources of biomass can generate significant global warming emissions.
One disadvantage with renewable energy is that it is difficult to generate the quantities of electricity that are as large as those produced by traditional fossil fuel generators. This may mean that we need to reduce the amount of energy we use or simply build more energy facilities. It also indicates that the best solution to our energy problems may be to have a balance of many different power sources.
Another disadvantage of renewable energy sources is the reliability of supply. Renewable energy often relies on the weather for its source of power. Hydro generators need rain to fill dams to supply flowing water. Wind turbines need wind to turn the blades, and solar collectors need clear skies and sunshine to collect heat and make electricity. When these resources are unavailable so is the capacity to make energy from them. This can be unpredictable and inconsistent. The current cost of renewable energy technology is also far in excess of traditional fossil fuel generation. This is because it is a new technology and as such has extremely large capital cost.