Energy is the power that lights up our homes, helps us in transportation and helps manufacture every kind of products. Creation or destruction of energy is not possible and it can only be changed from one form to another. Types of energy include both renewable and non-renewable resources.
Non-renewable Sources of Energy
Coal, petroleum and natural gas are fossil fuels that we use for producing various forms of energy. These are non-renewable sources of energy as they cannot be regenerated or created again. Uranium is also a non-renewable energy resource, which is employed in nuclear power plants.
To produce energy, these fuels undergo a process called combustion. Combustion leads to pollution, as it releases sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide that lead to global warming and acid rains.
Those sources of energy that can be reused over and again include wind, solar power, biomass, hydropower (water) and geothermal power. These are referred to as renewable or alternative energy, and can be defined as a form of energy that does not expend earth’s limited resources and can be refilled quickly and easily.
Renewable energy does not generate pollution in gathering and production of power, unlike non-renewable energy. The sources of renewable energy are:
ØWind turbines that generate or create electricity from the wind. ØSun is the biggest source of energy and produces solar power. Direct and indirect energy from the sun can be used to create electricity using solar or photovoltaic panels. Such panels are used in office and homes to generate electricity.ØNatural products like wood, corn and manure help create biomass, which are used to generate heat by burning them.ØHydropower comes from rivers and dams. A turbine is located at places with high water currents. Flowing water activates the turbine, which in turn generates electricity. ØThe earth’s crust generates geothermal mass through the extremely hot water or stream that is extracted from the crust by engineers. This is used to generate electricity.
Sun is the biggest source of energy that produces other sources. For example, wind is produced through the interaction between the atmosphere and the solar energy. Not only does the wind drive wind mills and power sailing ships, but it also helps a great deal in producing electricity.
Similarly, when solar energy interacts with the oceans, it sets hydrological cycle in motion. This cycle leads to rainfall and creates other potential energy through flow of water in rivers and streams, which in turn help create hydroelectric power.
Renewable energy has many advantages. It can be replenished and facilities generating this energy do not require large maintenance costs. As this form of energy does not produce harmful products and gases such as carbon monoxide, it does not harm the environment either. The fact is that the earth receives 6000 times of energy that is used throughout the world. The need of the hour is to transform this energy to suit our requirements and to help create and sustain a better environment for the current and future generations.