Energy easy to burn, produces high energy upon combustion,

 

            Energy is all around us, it is vital
for us human beings to survive on earth. We rely on energy to do many types of
activities from playing basketball to driving your car every day. Energy comes
in many different forms such as heat, light, motion, electrical, chemical,
nuclear energy, and gravitational. Energy is very vital to our existence it’s
what powers the electricity throughout your house and once you leave you house
energy powers all the transportation you might take such as our cars, planes,
trains, buses and motorcycles. Energy consumption has increased drastically in
the past years, the reasons for this are that the population has increased and
the average amount of energy per person has increased. According to recent studies,
the united states makes up about 5% of the world’s population but only consumes
about 30% of the worlds energy

Coal is one of the most prominent
conventional energy sources and is said to have originate from plant debris,
mostly including ferns, trees and seeds. The major advantages of coal include
that it is easy to burn, produces high energy upon
combustion, and is, for the most part relatively inexpensive (). While it has
its advantages, it has also been linked to climate change, and because we are over
consuming it in today’s society, it is rapidly depleting. These days coal is
primarily used as a method of heat or to generate electricity.

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Petroleum is naturally occurring it and can take the form of a
gas, liquid, or solid. It is also commonly found beneath land or the ocean. The
advantages of petroleum include its easy extraction process which is also
fairly low in cost and it is easy to transport, and its disadvantages include
its limited resources, its large contribution to pollution, and, of course, the
fact that it is nonrenewable. Petroleum is primarily used in the transportation
fuels and electricity generation. ()

Nuclear energy is one
of the more efficient ways to produce energy, and comes from uranium, a mined
nonrenewable resource. The very first nuclear energy plant was located in
Shippingport, Pennsylvania, and is still active today (). Some of the
advantages of nuclear energy include it’s relatively cheap extraction process
and the fact that Nuclear Power plants are generating electricity almost all
day every day. The disadvantages of nuclear energy include its radioactive
waste which has polluted land and oceans many times before, and the heavy
toxins it administers into the atmosphere. Nuclear energy is mostly used to
generate electricity and heat. ()

            Natural
gas is a fossil fuel that has been used for millions of years, mainly as a
method of heating, cooking, and generating electricity. Natural gas is
extracted from underground and only through the act of mining can it be harnessed.
Approximately 29% of the U.S. energy supply is derived from natural gas(),
despite its many disadvantages. Some of these disadvantages include that its
highly combustible, it’s a non-renewable energy source, and emits quantities of
greenhouse gases (). On the other hand, some well-known advantages are that it’s
one of the more environmentally friendly fossil fuels, it is safer and easier
to store, and natural gas is reliable.

            Oil
which is harnessed underground and extracted with pumps is the primary resource
in world transportation. Once extracted it is refined to create fuel such as
pesticides and fertilizers(). Oil originated in Pennsylvania around 1859 and
the U.S. produces about 11% of the world’s oil.() The advantages of oil include
that it is easy to transport, there is no wastage meaning it can all be
utilized, and it provides fuel for multiple things. The disadvantages of oil
include that its linked to pollution, there is a risk of it leaking into
oceans, and it is fast depleting. ()

A renewable resource
is a natural resource that replenishes itself constantly, thus the supply is
never depleted. Recently through our technological advances we have been able
to harness much more of these resources to make clean energy instead of using
other resources that harm our environment. Renewable resources replenish
themselves much faster than they are consumed, as opposed to those such as oil.
Some example of these renewable resources such as water, wind power, wood, geothermal
energy, and solar energy. Renewable resources are in the lime light as people are
becoming more and more aware of the problem we are encountering with our
environment. It is also a more convenient way to harness energy due to our
technological advances.

Water energy, also
known as hydropower, is a convenient renewable resource because water makes up
most of the planet. The usage of water as energy has been around for many
years, and was even used by ancient Greeks to go about their daily lives. To
date, water energy is currently the largest renewable energy source in the
United States(). The process of generating electricity from water is simple.
Water, whether it be moving or not helps turn a turbine which is then converted
into electricity that is mainly used to power our homes().  Some of the many advantages of hydropower
include that it is a clean fuel source, and hydropower is a domestic source of
energy. The disadvantages of hydropower include that fish populations can be
impacted, it can impact water quality, and hydropower plants can be impacted by
drought.

            People have used wind power ever
since the early ages. To be more exact it has been around since about 5,000 BC,
and the U.S. is number one in the world in wind energy production (). Wind energy
is harnessed by wind turbines which connects to a generator. Wind energy is
also utilized in more natural methods aside from wind turbines, such as in
moving sailboats. The advantages of wind energy include that it is a clean
energy source for the environment, it’s a renewable and sustainable resource,
and wind energy is free. The disadvantages for wind energy include that the
wind fluctuates from time to time, installing wind turbines are very expensive,
and it is a threat to our wildlife. Wind energy today is primarily used to
generate electricity ().

The use of wood fuel dates back many years and is assumed to
have been used by the Neanderthals. Wood fuel comes in many different forms
such as chips, sheets, pallets, and sawdust (). Wood is burned in a boiler to
either heat water or generate steam, which like hydropower and wind power turns
a turbine to generate electricity (). The advantages of wood fuel include that it’s
a domestic, renewable and a very cheap source of energy. The disadvantages
include deforestation, destruction of animal habitats, and air pollution
occurs. Wood fuel is mainly used as methods of heat and electricity.

Geothermal energy was originated in ancient Greece and is energy
stored and generated within Earth’s core. When water is injected within the
Earth, it produces steam that like the other resources mentioned turns a
turbine that powers a generator and produces electricity (), which is what
Geothermal energy is mainly used for. This energy source provides both heating
and cooling for millions of Americans homes, and supplies about 5% of the US’s
total power (). Some disadvantages however are that it has a high cost for
electricity and that potential green-house gas emissions can enter the earth’s atmosphere.
The advantages include that its environmentally friendly, a renewable resource,
and it’s great for heating and cooling.

Solar energy is energy that, through the use of panels, is generated
from the sun. The sun has been around for billions of years and solar energy’s
history spans as early as the 7th century (). While mostly used as a
method of heat, solar panels have successfully been able to power millions of
homes in America. Using these photovoltaic cells which absorb that energy from
the sun, they are able to generate power (). The advantages of solar energy
include that is a renewable resource, it reduces electricity bills, and it has
low maintenance costs. The disadvantages of solar energy include solar energy
is super expensive, it is associated with pollution, and it uses a lot of
space.

As new and old methods of renewable energy finally become more
noticed by Americans, I feel like we will stray away from our old ways and
focus on bettering the world we live in. While there is still much work to be
done, I feel like we can get there little by little, however when there are
decisions such as new instillations being placed in locations such as
California, it’s hard to make a final decision as to what can happen. With all
the natural disasters occurring there is always risk of Nuclear Power plants
leaking and causing damage on the area’s that surround it, so personally, I don’t
support the installments. I believe there is still time to improve, and changing
something that has such an impact on the planet like the type of energy we are
using, will have many positive effects.