Renewable Sources of Energy • • A renewable resource is a natural resource that will never run out.

The global media want us to live sustainable (what is available for us today will be available for our children and their children in the future) Renewable energy can provide sustainability by using resources that will not run out. While fossil fuels will. Natural sources of energy that will always be available are: Sun Wind Water Renewable sources of energy are: Hydroelectric energy Wind energy Solar energy Geothermal (from the heat of the Earth – e.g. volcanic areas – Iceland) Tidal power Question: Examine the pie chart below. What do you notice about the amount of energy renewable sources of energy contribute to world energy supply? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………

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Occasionally another name maybe used in conjunction with Renewable Sources of energy • • • It is called Alternative Sources of Energy This can confuse people. What it means is energy that can be used instead of the fossil fuels. Nuclear power comes under this heading. BUT IT IS NOT RENEWABLE JUST AN ALTERNATIVE TO FOSSIL FUELS AS ARE RENEWABLE SOURCES OF ENERGY!!!! This is a common misconception do not be fooled by it.

Advantages of Renewable sources of energy (sometimes called renewables) – you should call them renewable sources of energy). See the 5 prong spider diagram for advantages of renewable sources of energy

Many people ask the question: • Why do renewable sources of energy make a low contribution to world energy supplies? Restrictions / problems 1. Hydroelectric power HEP has a shortage of sites with the required physical conditions. You’ll do a case study on this next week) 2. Geothermal power plants are restricted to a few places in the world like Iceland and New Zealand, where volcanic activity continuously produces large quantities of boiling water. El Tatio geysers in Chile. The physical requirements for geothermal power exist there. BUT At 4000 metres above sea level in an uninhabited part of the Andes mountain range the location is too remote for commercial use. 3. Weather conditions cannot be guaranteed (cloudy days no sunshine for solar, calm days no wind for wind power. Wind Power Wind power has seen massive improvements in technology especially with the efficiency of modern turbines. Modern turbines are becoming a common sight in Europe especially: • Denmark, Germany, Spain and the UK. Because average wind speeds are high here.

Wind has some negative environmental effects Noisy turbines rotating They can interfere with TV signal receptions Some claim they are unsightly ruining the natural beauty of scenic uplands where the wind speeds are higher, regular and more prolonged. Solar power The photovoltaic panels that convert sunlight into solar energy use toxic substances such as cadmium sulphide. Tidal energy You have to build a barrage across an estuary, which interrupts natural water flows, possibly affecting marine life and changing rates of erosion and deposition. Question: Work out what the main problem is from the bar chart.

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Main problem: Years of low oil prices and continued new discoveries of oil and gas with improved technology have not encouraged companies to spend money on research into alternatives sources. Research is a gamble. New technology is expensive to develop without any guarantee of a successful outcome. All the money invested can be lost. Businesses and governments don’t like losing money. Often the tax payer (US) as to pay! But breakthroughs are been made just slowly mainly in efficiency of wind turbines and PVs (photovoltaic cells). Possibilities: The potential energy from ocean waves around the British Isles is enormous with us being an island. It is estimated that the Atlantic wave energy could satisfy 20% of the UK’s energy needs by 2020! But the technology has not been invented to harness this energy yet, but they are in the experimental stage. Wave machines and buoys have the advantage over wind turbines in that they will not be seen as they snake across the sea surface and the buoys are rocked by the waves, compared to wind turbines which you cannot avoid seeing. Provide 3 disadvantages of renewable sources of energy ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………

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