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Renewable Energy

A quick look into various forms of renewable energy sources, their benefits and drawbacks. Created for Woodland HS.
by

Yong Ra

on 27 November 2012

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Transcript of Renewable Energy

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli An Environmental Science Overview Renewable Energy Sources Solar Energy Solar energy is the utilization of the sun's energy
to power and heat. We do this through 2 main
methods, Passive and Active methods.

Passive:
Absorbing the sun's energies
directly without pumps or fans.

Active:
Distributing the sun's energies
using pumps or fans. Water Power Water can be used to turn generators and
turbines to create electricity. This is known
as "hydropower", 'hydro' meaning 'water'.

Hydropower is one of the main leading
renewable energy sources. It only requires
that you have a moving source of water, like
a large river, or the ocean waves.

We can build dams to create a man-made
'waterfall' of sorts and use the energy of the
falling water to turn turbines. Wind Power In the same way we can use water to turn turbines and generators, we can also use wind power to do the very same thing. This involves placing large windmills along hills and other windy regions. As the winds blow, the windmills start spinning, turning the turbines inside them to create energy that we can use. Biomass Energy Biomass is one of the oldest forms of renewable energy that humans have used. Biomass counts everything that we can burn that comes from a biological source. Trees, twigs, cow manure, waste products, and algae can all be considered 'biomass'.

They are considered 'renewable' because they can grow back within a short period of time relative to human lifespans. i.e. we can grow algae quickly to turn into biofuel, but we can't turn dead trees into
oil fast enough. We'd all get bored waiting for it. Geothermal Energy Geothermal energy revolves around the use of the
Earth's own internal heat to generate power or heat. If you've ever seen hot springs, it's the exact same idea. If we have cold water, we can pump it through the earth, where it will be heated up from the internal temperature of the planet and come back up as heated water.

While you may no be able to apply this everywhere, there are certain countries, like Norway, that benefit greatly from this renewable energy source. Hydrogen Hydrogen is an explosive gas that we can utilize to generate power. One of the most common methods is to use hydrogen fuel cells in cars. This has the added advantage of almost zero pollution. When you combust Hydrogen, the resulting chemicals that your car will emit is just plain water.

Of course, because Hydrogen is so dangerous, proper care must be taken so that it doesn't explode when you're using it! Energy source is free
Net energy is moderate to high
Quick installation
No CO2 emissions
Very low air and water pollution
Very low land disturbance Needs to store heat somehow
Need access to sun 60% of the time
Sun may be blocked by other buildings
Active collectors may look unappealling
Active systems need maintenance and repair Very efficient
Long life span
Large amounts of energy
Low-cost electricity
Little to no CO2 emissions
May provide flood control
Provides water year-round
Reservoir is useful for fishing Uproots people
Danger of collapse
Expensive to build
High CO2 emissions if the
reservoir is shallow and tropical
Converts land region into a lake
Decreases the flow of natural fertilizer
Creates a lot of debris and pollution when
first being constructed Very high efficiency
No CO2 emissions
Can be built at sea
Very low environmental impact
Produces very cheap electricity
Easy and quick construction
Land below the turbines
can be used to grow
crops and raise animals Visual pollution
Needs steady wind
Needs a lot of land
May create noise
May kill or injure migrating birds
Backup systems needed if no wind Moderate costs
Large potential in some areas
No net CO2 emissions harvest
and burn sustainably
Plantations can help restore
lands that are degraded
Can make use of agricultural
and urban waste products Soil erosion, water
pollution, and
loss of habitat
Plantations may
compete with croplands and farms
Not renewable if not harvested in a
sustainable manner Very efficient
Lower CO2 emissions
compared to fossil fuels
Low costs at favorable sites
Low land use
Low land disturbance
Moderate environmental
impact Scarcity of sites
Depleted if used
too quickly
CO2 still emitted
Noise and Odor pollution
Moderate to high air pollution
Costs too high except at the most
accessible areas and locations Can be produced from water
Good substitute for oil
No CO2 emissions
High efficiency in cells
Easier to store than electricity
Competitive prices
Safer than gasoline
Safer than natural gases
Non-toxis, emissions turn
into water vapors
Low environmental impacts Not considered to be
'renewable' if you
make it with fossil
fuels instead of water
Must spend energy to make energy
Not found in nature, must be man-made
High costs (slowly coming down)
Short driving range for cars, need to refuel often
Will take 25 to 50 years to be widely accepted and used Thanks for watching!
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