Renewable and Alternative Energy Sources

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1 Renewable and Alternative Energy Sources

2 World Wide Energy Production 15.2% alternative 84.8% fossil fuels

3 Alternative Energy Sources World-wide, with the exception of coal, which has known reserves that will last a couple of centuries, the known reserves of oil are expected to be exhausted in your lifetime... Clearly, alternative energy sources are needed for the future

4 Alternative Energy Sources alternative energy a form of energy derived from a natural source that could replace the use of fossil fuels. renewable energy - any natural resource that can replenish itself over a relatively short amount of time (a human lifetime).

5 Alternative Energy Sources We will look at: Solar energy Geothermal power Hydroelectric Tidal Power Wind energy Biomass and Biofuels

6 Solar Energy The Sun is free (nobody owns or controls it) In principle, the amount of solar energy that reaches the Earth s surface could provide for all human energy needs forever

7 Solar Energy The distribution of solar energy over the continental U.S. in watts per square meter The desert regions of the southwest U.S. receive the most sunlight

8

9 Clean Solar Energy Solar energy is clean energy It produces no hazardous solid, liquid or gas wastes It does not create water or air pollution

10 Largest Solar Plant in the World

11 What is it? Solar power uses energy from the Sun. Solar panels transfer the Suns energy to heat water. Disadvantages Solar panels are expensive. When it is cloudy or at night there is not enough light. Some people don t like the look of solar panels. Advantages The energy from the Sun is free. The sun does not produce greenhouse gases. The sun will always be there during our lifetime.

12 Geothermal Power Magma rising from the mantles brings unusually hot material near the surface Heat from the magma, in turn, heats any groundwater This is the basis for generating geothermal energy

13 Geothermal Power The steam and/or hot water is used to create electricity or for heating

14 Geothermal Power Plants Worldwide, there are now about 40 geothermal power plants, especially in Japan, Mexico and the Philippines Note that most geothermal power plants are built along plate tectonic boundaries

15 Klamath Falls, OR

16 What is it? Rocks under the ground are hot. Water can be pumped through these hot rocks and warmed up. Disadvantages There are not many places where we can build geothermal power stations. Harmful gases and minerals may occasionally come up from the ground below. These can be difficult to control. Advantages Geothermal energy does not produce greenhouse gases. The energy source is free and will not run out.

17 Hydroelectric Hydroelectric is a very clean, pollution-free, renewable energy source The water is not consumed, but rather simply passes thru the generating equipment, and since several dams may occur along the same river, the water can be reused and reused

18 Hydroelectric A cross-section of a typical hydroelectric dam Water flows down the penstock, turns the turbine blades which power the generators

19 Hydroelectric Water use for generating hydroelectric power is totally dependent on the available water (duh!!) The Glen Canyon Dam in Utah is the classic example of building too big of a dam for not enough water

20 What is it? Flowing water is used to turn a turbine which generates electricity. Disadvantages The dam is expensive to build. By building a dam, the nearby area has to be flooded and this could affect nearby habitats. If it does not rain much we may not have enough water to turn the turbines. Advantages When the electricity is generated, no greenhouse gases are made. The water used is free. It is a renewable energy source.

21 Tidal Power All large bodies of water, including the oceans and large lakes, have tides Tidal power captures the energy contained in moving water mass due to tides

22 Tidal Power Turbines can be place on the ocean floor, for example at the entrance of a bay, where the flowing water can turn the fan to generate electricity

23 Tidal Power Another option is to use under water turbines, which is like an underwater wind farm This is currently being tested offshore of Scotland s Orkney Islands The ebbing and surging tidal flows turn 100 foot propellers, which each produce 1 megawatts of electricity

24 What is it? Solar power uses energy from the Sun. Solar panels transfer the Suns energy to heat water. Disadvantages A dam to make the water flow through the generators might be needed. Plants and animals that live nearby might get harmed The tides only happen twice a day, so can only produce electricity at that time. Advantages Tides are free and will not run out. No greenhouse gases are produced. It is reliable because we know exactly when the tides happen.

25 Wind Energy The wind is free, commonly available and can provide clean, pollution-free energy Today s wind-turbines are very high tech

26 Wind Energy The numbers indicate the percentage of 1990 regional electricity demand that full utilization of wind energy could meet Clearly, the great plains have significant wind energy potential

27

28 Wind Energy Limitations It would take about 1000 one-million watt windmills to equal the energy output of one sizable fossil fuel power plant The windmills can be noisy And they are hard on migrating birds

29 What is it? Wind turbines are used to generate electricity from the wind. The wind turns the large blades and the blades turn a generator. Disadvantages Lots of wind turbines are needed to produce enough power. Turbines can only be put in windy areas. It is not always windy. Some people don t like the look of the turbines. Advantages Wind is renewable. Wind is free. No greenhouse gases are made. There are few safety

30 Biomass Energy Biomass energy is derived from organic matter Stoves that burn wood are the classic example In fact, there had been a 20-25% increase in the use of wood stoves over the past several decades

31

32 Biomass Fuels or Biofuels Biofuels differ from other renewable energy sources, such as wind, hydroelectric, geothermal and solar, as they are primarily used in the transportation sector and are derived from recently living matter, both plant and animal

33 What is it? Biomass, is a renewable energy source made of biological material from living, or recently living organisms. Energy is released by combustion (burning). Disadvantages Inefficient (only 30% efficiency). Releases harmful solid carbon particles into the atmosphere. Advantages Produces less pollution than fossil fuels. Does not cause acid rain. Can be found locally. It is renewable.

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