Energy Resources | renewable | nonrenewable

Energy Resources | renewable | nonrenewable
Energy Resources|renewable|nonrenewable
The image shows the total world energy consumption by source (renewable/nonrenewable).


Definition of Energy Resources: 

 
An energy resource is anything that produces heat energy upon burning and is also responsible for electricity generation.
 
Energy resources can be divided into two categories:
  1. Renewable
  2. Non-Renewable 
Renewable energy resources are:
  • Hydroelectric Power (HEP)
  • Wind Energy
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Wave and Tidal Energy
  • Solar Energy
  • Geothermal Energy
The non-renewable energy resources are:
  • Coal
  • Oil
  • Natural Gas
Now, when you know the basics about energy resources, let’s look at each of the above-mentioned energy resources in detail.
 
 Hydroelectric Power:
 
This refers to the generation of electricity through water. The process for electricity generation involves the turning of the turbine by the moving force of water.
 
The turbine then converts the Kinetic energy (related to motion) to electrical energy.
 
The electric current is regulated through the transformer and is directed through the power line.
 
It is to note that the Hydroelectric power plants should be constructed upon steep slopes with narrow valleys.
 
This is to ensure that the water enters the turbine with its maximum possible force to move it. 
 
 Advantages of HEP:
  • It is a renewable source of energy.
  • It is environmentally friendly because it does not cause air pollution.
  • It is feasible where there is ample rainfall.
 Disadvantages of HEP:
  • The power plant is expensive to build and maintain.
  • Its construction may lead to population displacement.  
  • It is not possible to practise where rainfall is low.
 Wind Energy:
 
In this, electricity is generated through the movement of wind turbines.
 
The wind energy moves the turbine that converts the Kinetic energy into electrical energy. The energy generated is regulated through the transformer.
 
Multiple wind turbines are set on the required site and the electricity produced is enough to meet the local demands. 
Energy Resources|Renewable and nonrenewable
An image showing windmills at the time of sunset.

 

 Advantages of Wind Energy:
  • It is a renewable source of energy.
  • It can satisfy local needs.
  • It is cheaper as compared to HEP.
  • It does not cause any sort of pollution.
 Disadvantages of Wind Energy:
  • It is site-specific as it can also be set up in places where the wind speed is high.
  • It can damage the environment by killing the birds.
  • It can lead to deforestation because the land is required to set up the wind turbines.
 Nuclear Energy:
 
In this, the process of atomic fission takes place that releases a massive amount of heat.
 
Atomic fission refers to the splitting of a larger atom into smaller atoms. 
 
The heat energy liberated in the process can be used to turn the turbines that produce electricity.
 
The advantages of this process are that a very high amount of electricity is generated. It is the most efficient and effective method of electricity generation.
 
Moreover, it is renewable and the chances of accidents are very less.
 
However, the disadvantage is that in case of an accident, the circumstances can become disastrous. The waste material remains radioactive for many years.
 
Similarly, countries prefer other sources of electricity generation because the price of uranium has been rising constantly. 
 
Wave and Tidal Power:
 
In this method, the kinetic energy of waves and tides is captured to run the turbines and produce electricity. 
 
Researches have identified that wave and tidal energy can fulfil 10% of the electricity demand of the world.
 
Tidal energy projects require regular tidal activity to generate electricity. In the project, the water is directed through ‘tidal fence‘.
 
However, the use of tidal energy is limited due to the high variation in the tides. 
 
The advantage is that it is a renewable source of energy. It is eco-friendly and it can produce a significant amount of energy. It is economically feasible for the countries that have the topography to support this method.
 
However, the disadvantage is that it cannot be utilized by the countries that do not have oceans at their borders. The water shortage crisis may also reduce the electricity generation by this method.
 
 Solar Energy:
 
This method refers to the use of heat energy from the sun to generate electricity.
 
The solar panel contains photovoltaic cells that convert the light energy from the sun into electrical energy.
 
One more method includes the focusing of light rays on a path. The heat energy produces steam that is used to turn the turbine. Thus, electricity can be generated.

Note: It is estimated that in the coming years, solar energy will be the most widely used source for electricity generation.

It will be widely used as mobile phones are used today. So, what are you waiting for?
   Advantages of Solar Energy:
  • This method is renewable.
  • It does not cause any kind of pollution.
  • It is feasible for many countries due to the domination of the summer season.
  • The solar panels can be easily set up. These are also not very expensive and can be easily afforded by individuals if the government provides support through loans.Energy Resources | renewable | nonrenewable
 Disadvantages of Solar Energy:
  • The electricity produced is limited.
  • It is ineffective during rain and night.  
  • It can only be set at a specific site where the light rays are focused such as on rooftops. 
 Geothermal Energy: 
 
Although this method is very rarely used, it can be very effective if utilised fully.
 
The hot springs from the Earth surface are forced out. The steam from the hot springs is used to turn the turbines.
 
The turbines convert the kinetic energy into electrical energy as energy can neither be created nor be destroyed but can be converted from one form to another (law of conservation of energy).
 
The advantage of this method is that if it is used with other renewable energy resources, the energy crisis in various countries like Pakistan can come to an end.
 
It is environmentally friendly and therefore it can be used instead of coal that causes air pollution.
 
However, this method requires technology and skilled labour which many countries lack and the energy produced cannot completely fulfil the local demands.

Coal:
 
Coal is a nonrenewable energy resource which means that its reserves are limited. It is a very common resource that is widely used worldwide. 
 
Coal is burned to release steam which moves the turbine. 
 
Coal is also heated to a great extent to convert it into gas. This is known as the gasification of coal. This is done to easily transport coal in cylinders. 
 
The advantage of using coal is that its reserves can be found worldwide. It is cheaper as compared to oil.
 
The types of coal are: 
  1. Anthracite       Highest Rank
  2. Bituminous                                      Rank (highest to lowest)
  3. Sub-bituminous
  4. Lignite            Lowest Rank
If a lump of coal has high carbon content, high heating value and low sulphur and ash content, then it is described as coal of good quality.
 
How is coal formed? The answer is that when the plant’s decay, the heat and pressure for hundreds of years lead to their formation. The energy in coal is due to the photosynthesis that had occurred in the plant.  
 
Oil:
 
It is also a widely used energy resource. 
 
Some oils can be directly heated to release heat and light energy. The steam produced runs a turbine. The generator then produces the electrical energy that is regulated by transformers. 
 
Some other uses of oil include it being a lubricant to reduce friction. It is also used in cooking as many foods and fried in oil instead of water.
 
Similarly, oil is also used in modifying the texture of many food items.
 
Oil can be transported by: 
 
 Pipelines: It is an effective and efficient method but leaks in a pipeline can be fatal, leading to excessive loss of oil.
 
 Tankers (Road) and Rails: These methods can transport oil to remote areas, that are out of the reach of pipelines. 
 
However, in case of theft or accidents, massive loss of oil may occur.

Natural Gas:

This is also a nonrenewable energy source. It is formed between the earth’s surface.

The largest component of natural gas is methane (CH4).

How is natural gas formed? 
The decaying plant and animal waste mix with the sand, silt and other materials that are deposited in the ground.

The heat and pressure change these decaying matter into coal, oil and natural gas. It is a method that takes around a million years.

It is known as ‘Natural Gas’ because it is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon. Moreover, the use of natural gas is that it is used for cooking as it is cheap and burns cleanly.
 
It is used to make fertilizers and other pharmaceutical products.

Conclusion:

To conclude, the article regarding energy resources has come to an end. For more articles visit our home page;
 
 

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