Sustainable Energy

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Wind Energy

1. Built in exposed areas - high chance of strong and regular winds
2. Energy generated by the wind turning the blades. Converts wind energy into mechanical energy, then a generator converts it into electrical energy 
3. Large-scale wind power involves wind farms, consisting of thousands of wind turbines - electricity goes into a grid and then onto the consumer (can be onshore or offshore)
4. Small-scale wind power involves smaller turbines connected to a grid or just powering one building


- Unpredictable
- Large numbers of turbines needed for a significant amount of energy - lots of space
- Most approproiate places are usually protected for natural beauty
- Constant humming noise - not good to live near
- Can kill or injure birds and bats

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1. Material that is or was recently living
2. Wood, plants and animal waste
3. Materials are burnt to release energy
4. Biomass can also be processed to produce biofuels - burnt to release energy
5. Fermentation of sugar cane to produce alcohol, which is then burnt - methane and biogas produced using fermentation
6. Can involve a lot of technology or very little - so it's suitable for any country
7. Energy released by burning which produces carbon dioxide - doesn't contribute to global warming, as the carbon produced is the same amount as the carbon taken in when the material is growing - no overall increase in amount of CO2

- Large areas of land are needed to produce sufficient amounts of biofuel - lead to food shortages
- Only renewable if it is carefully managed
- Fossil fuels often used to process and transport biomass

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Solar Power

1. Comes from the sun and can be used in lots of different ways
2. Solar water heaters use solar energy to heat water, then pumped into a storage tank
3. Solar cookers work by concentrating sunlight, converting it to heat energy, then trapping it and using it for cooking
4. Photovoltaic cells convert light energy into electrical energy - used at home or sent to a grid
5. Materials that absorb the sun's heat during the day and release it at night can be used to keep houses warm

- Carbon dioxide is released in equipment production
- PV cells are expensive
- Large areas of solar panels and sunny climates are needed to produce large amounts of electricity

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Tidal Energy

1. Comes from the movement of tides - regular and therefore more reliable, harnessed using tidal barrages or tidal stream systems
2. Tidal barrages (dams) are built across estuaries. Water flows in and then out, passig through gates in the dam, turning turbines that generate electricity, some are turned by tides only going out, others do bot
3. Tidal streams are fast flowing currents caused by the tide - turn turbines placed in their pathway

- Equipment is expenise and carbon dioxide is released when creating it
- Barrages disrupt ecosystems and turbines can kill aquatic life

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Wave Energy

1. Harnessed by using a wave generator - a chmaber with a hole at the top that contains a turbine
2. Wave flows into the bottom of the chamber, increased mass of water forces air in the chamber upwards through the hole turning the turbine
3. Turbine is connected to a generator tht produces electricity


- Unreliable, there aren't always waves
- Generators are expensive and making them releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere

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Hydroelectric power

1. Dams are built to trap large volumes of water - tunnels containing turbines are built into the dams
2. Pressure of the water above drives water through the tunnels, turning the turbines
3. Generators convert this energy into electricity

- The creation of reservoirs can mean destruction of communities and habitats
- If the dam fails, large areas of land are likely to flood rapidly
- Ecosystems and fish migratory paths are distrupted
- Plants are expenisve and making them released CO2

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