Eco - Renewable Energy
Why renewable energy?
The generation of electricty by methods based around fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) and electricity generation via nuclear power result in waste harmful to the environment. There are alternative ways of generating energy through combining the use of technology with the natural resources of the earth. The results are renewable energy without the negative impact on the environment. Examples of this are wind power, small scale hydro-electric power, solar power, wave energy, tidal power and plant power.
Examples of renewable energy:-
Wind power is the process by which the energy from the wind is used to generate electricity. This is achieved by wind turbines converting the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical power, which is then converted to electricity.
Due to the UK's geographical position and weather patterns it is well placed to generate powerfrom the wind.
Small-scale hydro-electric power
Small-scale hydro-electric power is created when the kinetic energy of running water is converted into electricity by the use of water turbines or a water wheel.
Photovoltaic (PV) panel arrays are used to make solar electricity by capturing daylight and turning it into electrical power.
The ocean waves offer a great opportunity for energy but gathering the energy in efficiently is a technical challenge that researchers are trying to solve. Huge efforts are being undertaken to make this an economical option for renewable energy.
Technologies are being developed aimimg to gather the mechanical energy in the current from tidal movements and convert it into electricity.
Plant/ Biomass power
The energy that is stored in plants can be released either through natural decay or through burning. Carbon dioxide is released when the wood is burnt, however the amount is equivalent to the carbon dioxide absorbed by the plant whilst it grows. Consequently this does not add to greenhouse gas emissions. If processing or transporting wood involves the use of fossil fuels then a release of carbon dioxide occurs. Work is under way to gather renewable energy from biomass. To be a renewable energy the wood used has to have been from a sustainable source.
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