Earth & Space Science
You will endeavor to meet the energy needs of an island by using nonrenewable energy sources.
After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:
Energy sources are needed to power our modern lives and are an important concern in homes, businesses, manufacturing, and transportation. The supply and demand of energy sources plays an ongoing and significant role in our economy and national security. Two types of energy used to power our world include renewable and nonrenewable sources. Renewable energy sources-ones that are naturally replenished-include hydroelectricity, solar power, tidal power, and wind. Nonrenewable energy sources-ones that are finite and will eventually dwindle or become too expensive or environmentally damaging to maintain-include non-fossil and fossil fuels. Nuclear energy is a non-fossil fuel, and coal, gas, and oil are fossil fuels. These have been used for years, and we continue to research ways to make the use of these resources cleaner and safer.
While one benefit of using nonrenewable energy resources is that they can be more efficient than competing resources, all nonrenewable energy sources have their drawbacks. For example, natural gas is not available everywhere, and its usage as fuel causes carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to global warming. Like natural gas, coal is also not available everywhere, and burning coal causes heavy emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and dangerous particles. Compared to fossil fuels, nuclear energy is cleaner. Although nuclear power plants do not emit harmful gases, used nuclear fuel is radioactive. Radioactive waste can threaten both people and the environment. Another problem with nuclear power plants is that they need water to produce electricity. The used water near nuclear power plants gets warmer and warmer, and this leads to some fish deaths.
Energy sources are the topic of much debate lately. Turn on the news any evening to hear about the price of gasoline, the merits of excavating and refining more fossil fuels domestically, safety concerns for nuclear energy at home and abroad, and where to build facilities for renewable energy. The cost and environmental impact of all of these concerns must be weighed, of course, against our economic and national security interests. Academia, business, and government play an increasingly vital role in developing technologies that increase safety and efficiency while decreasing cost, dependence on foreign nations, and environmental impact.
|Approximate Time||20 Minutes|
|Pre-requisite Concepts||Students should be familiar with energy sources, fossil fuels, and non-fossil fuels.|
|Course||Earth & Space Science|
|Type of Tutorial||Concept Development|
|Key Vocabulary||coal plant, gas turbine plant, energy|