Renewable Energy WebQuest

Use the following link to help you complete the questions on energy.

1) How do scientists define energy? Energy is the ability to do work.
2) Explain the law of conservation of energy. Give examples of energy transformations. Energy is neither

created nor destroyed, one energy to another form of energy. Ex: chemical to motion or radiant to
3) What is energy efficiency? The amount of useful energy you get from any type of system.
4) What does it mean for energy to be nonrenewable? Renewable?

Nonrenewable: supplies are limited
Renewable: naturally replenished regularly
5) According to the “U.S. Energy Consumption by Energy Source, 2012”, what percentage of energy that

we use is renewable? What percent is nonrenewable? 91% is nonrenewable and 9% is renewable.

Renewable Energy Sources

6) What are the 6 forms of renewable energy resources? Biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind.
7) What is solar energy? Energy from the sun.
8) Solar energy is converted into what energy? Thermal energy
9) Give two examples of how solar energy is used – heat and electricity.
10) What do solar cells do? Change sunlight directly into electricity.
11) What do solar power plants do? Generate electricity by concentrating solar energy to heat and fluid and

produce steam that is used to power a generator.
12) What are the 2 main disadvantages to solar energy? The amount of sunlight that arrives at the earth's surface
is not constant. It varies depending on location, time of day, time of year, and weather conditions/ a large surface
area is required to collect the energy at a useful rate.

Explain how solar energy is beneficial for the environment. Does not produce air pollutants/ carbon
dioxide/ minimal impact on environment.


13) What is wind and how is it caused? Wind is caused by the uneven heating of the earth’s surface by the

14) What did American colonists use windmills for? To generate electricity

15) What do wind machines produce? Collects the winds kinetic energy
16) Describe a wind power plant. Uses blades to collect wind’s energy
17) Describe the negative effects of wind machines. Can catch fire; leak lubricating fluids, very large, and

noise pollution.

18) What does the word “geothermal” mean? Energy from heat from within the earth.
19) What is geothermal energy? Renewable energy source.
20) Geothermal energy is generated in the earth’s core
21) Where is geothermal energy found? Volcanos, hot springs, and geysers.
22) Name 2 ways people have used direct geothermal energy? Bathing in springs, district heating systems.
23) Describe how has Iceland used geothermal energy? District heating systems
24) What does Biomass mean and what does it contain? –organic material that comes from plants and

animals. Contains stored energy from the sun.
25) Name 5 things that are biomass materials- wood, crops, garbage, landfill gas, and alcohol fuels.
26) What is the most common biomass material? wood
27) 84% of wood energy is used where? Industries, electric power producers, and commercial businesses.

28) Hydroelectric power generates what type of energy? Renewable
29) What 3 states hold over one-half of the total U.S. hydroelectric capacity for electricity is Washington,

Oregon, and California.
30) Most dams in the United States were not built to provide electricity, but for irrigation and flood control.


31) Tides are the rising and falling of the ocean shore. What are tides caused by? Gravitational pull of moon

and sun.
32) Compare wind turbines and wave turbines. Wave turbines are under water
33) Not only could the ocean provide us with tidal energy, but wind energy.
34) What is Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion? System that uses a temperature difference to operate a

turbine to produce electricity.
35) Since the ocean expands almost two-thirds of the Earth, it makes sense to use that open ocean to provide

us with energy. What are the two forms of energy have scientists considered placing over the open
ocean? Wind turbines, wave power

“Use of Energy.”

36) What are the 4 areas in which energy is used? In homes, in commercial buildings, in industry, and for


“Residential- homes.”

37) List the 5 ways in which energy is used in our homes. Space heating, electronics/lighting appliances,

refrigeration, water heating, and air conditioning.
38) What is the most used type of energy in the home? Space heating

“Saving Energy”
“Energy Efficiency”
39) How much energy does the United States use?
40) The average American consumes __________________________ more energy than the world average.
41) Identify 5 different ways in which we can conserve energy. Turning lights off when not needed and