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ENERGY FROM THE SUNThe warmth you feel on a sunny day is SOLAR ENERGY. The sun is constantly giving off energy in the form of heat and light. Let's watch this video on solar energy.
SOLAR PLANTS AND SOLAR CELLSSOLAR PLANTS - In a solar plant, rows of mirrors focus the sun's rays to heat water to create steam.
SOLAR CELLS - Solar energy can be converted directly into electricity in a solar cell.
WIND ENERGYWind energy is actually an indirect form of solar energy. The sun heat's the Earth's surface unevenly. As a result of this uneven heating, different areas of the atmosphere have different temperatures and air pressure. The difference in pressure cause winds.
Wind can be used to turn a turbine and generate electricity.
Watch this video to learn more:
SOME DISADVANTAGES OF WIND ENERGYNOT IDEAL FOR ALL LOCATIONS
WINDS MUST BLOW STEADILY ENOUGH TO BE WORTHWHILE
HYDROELECTRIC POWERHydroelectric power is electricity produced by flowing water. This type of power is the most widely used source of renewable energy in the world today. Once the dam and power plant are built, producing the electricity is inexpensive.
BENEFIT: Hydroelectric power does not create air pollution and water provides a steady supply of energy. Learn more with this video:
TIDAL ENERGYAnother source of moving water is the tides. A few tidal power plants have been built to take advantage of this regular motion.
DISADVANTAGES: Only a few coastal areas in the world are suitable for building tidal power plants.
BIOMASS FUELSBiomass fuels are made from living things. Wood is an example of a biomass fuel. Biomass materials can be converted into other fuels. Corn, sugar cane, and other crops can be used to make alcohol. Adding alcohol to gasoline forms a mixture called gasohol. Gasohol can be used as fuel for cars.
Alcohol and methane are renewable resources.
DISADVANTAGE: Producing this in large quantities is expensive.
GEOTHERMAL ENERGYBelow Earth's surface are pockets of very hot, liquid rock called magma. The intense heat from Earth's interior that warms the magma is called geothermal energy. Geothermal energy can also be used to generate electricity.
Geothermal energy is an unlimited source of cheap energy.
DISADVANTAGES: There are only a few places where magma comes close to the Earth's surface. A deep well may be required to tap this energy. this can be very expensive.
This short video will help explain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5-hzJrW2n0
HYDROGEN POWERHydrogen is a fuel that burns cleanly and forms only water as a by-product. What could be better? Pure hydrogen is difficult to obtained because it is combined with oxygen. At the present time pure hydrogen can be obtained by passing an electric current through water. But it takes more energy to obtain it than is produced.