Energy Resources

Energy Demands

- your energy demands are met mostly by burning oil, coal and gas

- nuclear power, biofuels and renewable resources provide energy to generate some of the energy you use

- uranium or plutonium is used as the fuel in a nuclear power station, much more energy is released per kilogram form uranium or plutonium than from fossil fuels

- biofuels are renewable sources of energy, biofuels such as methane and ethanol can be used to generate electricity 

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Energy from Wind and Water

- a wind turbine is an electricity generator on top of a tall tower

- waves generate electricity by turning a floating generator

- hydroelectricity generators are turned by water running downhill

- a tidal power station traps each high tide and uses it to turn generators

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Power from the Sun and the Earth

- solar cells are flat solid cells and use the Sun's energy to generate electricity directly

- solar heating panels use the Sun's energy to heat water directly

- geothermal energy comes from the energy transferred by radiactive substances deep inside the Earth

- water pumped into hot rocks underground produces steam to drive turbines at the Earth's surface that generate electricity

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Energy and the Environment

- fossil fuels produce increased levels of greenhouse gases which could cause global warming

- nuclear fuels produce radioactive waste

- renewable energy resources will never run out, they do not produce harmful waste products (e.g. greenhouse gases or radioactive waste) and they can be used in remote places, but they cover large areas and they can disturb natural habitats

- different energy resources can be evaluated in terms of reliability, environmental effects and pollution, and waste

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Big Energy Issues

- gas-fired power stations and pumped-storage stations can meet variations in demand

- nuclear power stations are expensive to build, run and decomission

    carbon capture of fossil fuel emissions is likely to be very expensive

    renewable reosurces are cheap to run but expensive to install

- nuclear power stations, fossil fuel power stations that use carbon capture technology, and renewable energy resources are all likely to be needed or future energy supplies

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