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6 Energy Resources

Essay by review  •  March 1, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,265 Words (10 Pages)  •  1,561 Views

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Anette Aatangen

Kim Bjoerklund

Sunniva Kristensen

Herman Skogvold

Sander Vunderink

Michiel van der Werf

Debby Koopmans

Renewable Resources

Everywhere we go there is energy around us. All animals, plants, humans need it to live. Also machines need energy to be able to work, and our lives are dependent on a lot of these machines. Nowadays we can't imagine living without them. Though, if we continue using energy for these machines the way we do it now, we won't be able to use them much longer. Because this energy is running out. We're talking about electricity, which is mostly produced by three fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas. They are burned to heat up water. This produces steam, which makes a turbine move, which produces energy. This way of producing energy, causes that in the world every hour almost 1 million barrel of fossil fuels are burned, permanently. However, the stock of fossil fuels are running out. There is only enough coal in the world for another 300 years and oil and gas even for only another 50 years. This is not the only disadvantage of using these fuels. They are also causing serious damage to the environment. When they are being burned, they produce toxic gasses which appear in the form of acid rain. Some gasses also cause the greenhouse-effect. These facts are enough reasons for people to look for alternative energy resources. For instance nuclear energy. Some think this is a clean and safe alternative, but this has also disadvantages. There is also ways to use the energy from wind, water, biomass and the sun. These are durable energy sources. We are going to look deeper to each form of energy resource, and find out which ones of all of these are the best to use in our future.

Solar energy means light or heat energy that comes from the sun.

There are many ways to use solar energy, in fact every process

on earth has the sun as its starting point. But you can also transfer it into electrical energy with solar panels.

A solar panel is made up of several photovoltaic cells and these cells are connected together in series. When sunlight hits the solar panel it makes electrons in the cells move around just as in a electrical wire. The electrons flow through the wires which are connected to the solar panels and we get electricity.

To use electricity when its cloudy outside we attach batteries. When the

sun beams hits the panel the batteries charges.

This picture shows the basic of a solar panel:

A great advantage is that the sun is a renewable source. Yes, it will die eventually but this is so many years from now which we can't oversee. So while the sun is 'alive', we can't use up this resource like we can use up fossil fuels. Solar energy is being used in many ways and transfers from one thing to another like light transfers into heat.

The amount energy supplied by sun and wind in Norway is 25 295 kW/h per inhabitant. Using solar panels to get energy is not an economically a good investment here in Norway. They are really expensive and demand huge areas. In the Netherlands the use of solar energy is also very limited. Probably there are some buildings which use solar energy, but this number is so small, that in 2005, the percentage energy was 0,0%. The government is trying to stimulate the use of solar energy and recently new subsidizes are available for people who want to buy solar panels for their houses. However it is still an expensive and long term investment.

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The source of fossil fuel is dead plants and animals. When plants and animals die their bodies decomposes and are buried under layers of earth. Pressure and heat changes that organic material and after millions of years it will be one of three forms of fossil fuel. Oil, natural gas and coal.

Oil is a thick, black liquid also called petroleum. To get the oil we dug deep into the ground and the oil will be between layers of rock. When we find an oil spot we pump it up and get raw oil. A refinery changes the oil into products like gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel. It's also burned in factories and power plants to make electricity. By burning the oil the generator turns around, so the heat and steam pushes the generator around, creating movement energy. As the generator goes around, magnetically fields pass each other quickly and electricity is created.

Natural gas and coal is another part of fossil fuel. Natural gas is mostly methane. Natural gas is used to heat houses and to cook. Coal is the vegetation that is buried under many layers of rock. Being under pressure for so long the plants has converted into coal. Coal is a hard, black colored rock-like substance The coal gets burned to produce heat. Both natural gas and coal can be heated and the steam produced by the boiling water sets a turbine in motion. The turbine, is connected to a generator and that produces electricity.

Though it is a very handy way to use and we are good develop in making energy this way, it is not a renewable source. It will eventually get empty and it will take millions of years to get more.

Here in Norway fossil fuel is 35% of our energy usage. In Holland this is a much greater number. It's 87,0%. Maybe Holland should take an example from Norway, looking at this number!

The fossil fuel is a good investment economically, especially here in Norway where we have a lot of oil resources. They sell the fossil fuel for more money then it cost them to get it and are getting rich. Although it does damage the environment.

Biomass is energy released from plants and other biomaterial. If you, for example, cut down a tree and put it on fire, then you release the energy in the tree and it changes into heat energy. Ever since mankind learned and were able to control the fire, biomass has been used, so this is not a new energy source. If we hadn't used the energy from the plants, then it would get lost while it was lying on the ground rotting. So a good thing with biomass is that it does not let out more carbon if you use the plant to gain energy and help humans or if you just leave it lying

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