By Tanner Evans
Solar energy is obtained from sunlight.
Solar energy has been used by humans for a long time for uses such as heating, cooking food, removing salt from seawater and drying clothes.
Solar cells convert light energy into electricity.
Solar cells can be used to power portable devices such as calculators.
The largest solar power plant in the world is found in the Mojave Desert, USA.
Wind power involves turning energy from the wind into other forms of useful energy.
Wind power can be harnessed in a number of different ways. For example, windmills create mechanical energy, sails move boats and wind turbines generate electricity.
Windmills have been around for a long time, they were used in Persia (Iran) as far back as 200 B.C.
Wind energy is clean and renewable.
Large groups of wind turbines are called wind farms.
Geothermal energy is made inside the Earth.
The world geothermal comes from Greek words meaning ‘Earth’ (geo) and ‘heat’ (thermos).
The technology behind geothermal electricity generation has improved substantially but it still only provides a fraction of world electricity generation.
Geothermal power is clean, reliable and cost effective but its availability is often limited to areas near tectonic plate boundaries.
Geothermal power plants in the Philippines and Iceland contribute around 30% of their electricity production. In the USA it is less than 1%.
- Wood was the biggest energy provider in the world in the 1800's.
- Biogas can also be captured and sold as fuel if not used to generate electricity on site.
- Biomass is a renewable energy source because trees and crops can always be grown.
- The word biomass means natural energy.
- In the 1800s wood was the biggest energy provider
- The word hydropower comes from the Greek word hydro (water)
- Hydropower is one of the oldest sources of energy, used to grind grain by the Ancient Egyptians as early as 250 B.C.
- Hydropower can be captured from many different forms of water, including river currents, river dams, ocean waves, and ocean tides.
- Hydropower is the least expensive renewable energy source in the United States.
- Canada is the largest producer of hydropower in the world .
- Nuclear energy comes from uranium, a nonrenewable resource that must be mined.
- Every 18 to 24 months, a power plant must shut down to remove its spent uranium fuel, which has become radioactive waste.
- 13 percent of the world’s electricity comes from nuclear power plants that emit little to no greenhouse gases.
- Nuclear energy is being used in more than 30 countries around the world, and even powers Mars rovers Nuclear power facilities can produce energy at a 91 percent efficiency rate 24/7, while maintaining the method with the lowest emissions.