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It moves cars along the road and boats over the water. It bakes a cake in the oven and keeps ice frozen in the freezer. It plays our favorite songs on the radio and lights our homes. Energy is needed for our bodies to grow and it allows our minds to think. Scientists define energy as the ability to do work. Modern civilization is possible because we have learned how to change energy from one form to another and use it to do work for us and to live more comfortably. Forms of Energy Energy forms are either potential or kinetic. Potential energy comes in forms that are stored including — chemical, gravitational, mechanical, and nuclear. Kinetic energy forms are doing work — like electrical, heat, light, motion, and sound. Energy is found in different forms including light, heat, chemical, and motion. There are many forms of energy, but they can all be put into two categories: potential and kinetic Potential Energy Potential energy is stored energy and the energy of position — gravitational energy. There are several forms of potential energy.
Kinetic Energy Kinetic energy is motion — of waves, molecules, objects, substances, and objects. Energy Sources Can be Categorized As Renewable or Nonrenewable When we use electricity in our home, the electrical power was probably generated by burning coal, by a nuclear reaction, or by a hydroelectric plant at a dam. Therefore, coal, nuclear and hydro are called energy sources. When we fill up a gas tank, the source might be petroleum or ethanol made by growing and processing corn. Energy sources are divided into two groups — renewable (an energy source that can be easily replenished) and nonrenewable (an energy source that we are using up and cannot recreate). Renewable and nonrenewable energy sources can be used to produce secondary energy sources including electricity and hydrogen.
and is widely used in European countries and the United States. tides. Solar thermal power stations operate in the USA and Spain. and geothermal heat. The propane that fuels our outdoor grills made from oil and natural gas. Electricity "energizes" our computers. ethanol from corn. and cook food. to name only a few uses. and air conditioners. involving production of ethanol fuel from sugar cane. providing 3% of global energy consumption and 15% of global electricity generation. In 2006. with a rated capacity of 750 MW. which can be turned into electricity and heat Wind Geothermal energy from heat inside the Earth Biomass from plants. about 18% of global final energy consumption came from renewables. lights.000 megawatts (MW) in 2008. which are renewable (naturally replenished). wind. with 13% coming from traditional biomass. refrigerators. Renewable energy is energy generated from natural resources such as sunlight. whose atoms we split (through a process called nuclear fission) to create heat and ultimately electricity.Renewable Energy Renewable energy sources include: • • • • • Solar energy from the sun. used to heat homes. Another nonrenewable energy source is the element uranium. The world's largest geothermal power installation is The Geysers in California.900 MW in 2008. Ethanol fuel is also widely available in the USA . with a worldwide installed capacity of 121. dry clothes. They're called fossil fuels because they were formed over millions and millions of years by the action of heat from the Earth's core and pressure from rock and soil on the remains (or "fossils") of dead plants and creatures like microscopic diatoms. and the largest of these is the 354 MW SEGS power plant in the Mojave Desert. and factories. both nonrenewable. natural gas. Hydroelectricity was the next largest renewable source. a nonrenewable resource. washing machines. and coal. and photovoltaic (PV) power stations are popular in Germany and Spain. We use renewable and nonrenewable energy sources to generate the electricity we need for our homes. is nonrenewable. businesses. Wind power is growing at the rate of 30 percent annually. Brazil has one of the largest renewable energy programs in the world. schools. rain. and ethanol now provides 18 percent of the country's automotive fuel. such as wood-burning. Most of the gasoline used in our cars and motorcycles and the diesel fuel used in our trucks are made from petroleum oil. The annual manufacturing output of the photovoltaics industry reached 6. which includes firewood from trees. and biodiesel from vegetable oil Hydropower from hydroturbines at a dam We get most of our energy from nonrenewable energy sources. which include the fossil fuels — oil. Natural gas.
and biofuels and hydrogen derived from renewable resources. wind. renewable technologies are also suited to small off-grid applications. incentives and commercialization. the resulting level of energy within the Earth-Atmosphere system can roughly be described as the Earth's "climate. In its various forms. . and increasing government support. these costs may actually be negative). Renewable energy flows involve natural phenomena such as sunlight. are driving increasing renewable-energy legislation. Renewable Energy Commercialization When comparing renewable energy sources with each other and with conventional power sources. Solar energy is also responsible for the distribution of precipitation which is tapped by hydroelectric projects." The hydrosphere (water) absorbs a major fraction of the incoming radiation. biomass. Climate-change concerns. peak oil. where energy is often crucial in human development. tides and geothermal heat. Included in the definition is electricity and heat generated from solar. Wave motion may play a role in the process of transferring mechanical energy between the atmosphere and the ocean through wind stress. hydropower. Kenya has the world's highest household solar ownership rate with roughly 30. it derives directly from the sun. wind. yet the renewable-energy market continues to grow. Each of these sources has unique characteristics which influence how and where they are used. The EarthAtmosphere system is in equilibrium such that heat radiation into space is equal to incoming solar radiation. as the International Energy Agency explains: Renewable energy is derived from natural processes that are replenished constantly. regulation and policies should help the industry weather the 2009 economic crisis better than many other sectors Main Forms Sources Of Renewable Energy The majority of renewable energy technologies are powered by the sun. but this energy is dissipated around the globe in the form of winds and ocean currents.000 small (20–100 watt) solar power systems sold per year Some renewable-energy technologies are criticized for being intermittent or unsightly. three main factors must be considered: • • • capital costs (including. or from heat generated deep within the earth. and for the growth of plants used to create biofuels. New government spending. fuel costs (for fossil-fuel and biomass sources—for wastes. for nuclear energy. ocean.While most renewable energy projects and production is large-scale. coupled with high oil prices. Most radiation is absorbed at low latitudes around the equator. geothermal resources. operating and maintenance costs. sometimes in rural and remote areas. waste-disposal and decommissioning costs).
the PV system can be used to charge a car battery. here. There are additional costs for renewables in terms of increased grid interconnection to allow for variability of weather and load. with a worldwide installed capacity of over 100 GW. are sold in Kenya annually. Renewable energy technologies can also make indirect contributions to alleviating poverty by providing energy for cooking. Wind power is growing at the rate of 30 percent annually. Kenya is the world leader in the number of solar power systems installed per capita (but not the number of watts added). using discounted cash flow. and photovoltaic (PV) power stations are particularly popular in Germany and Spain. nuclear. each producing 12 to 30 watts. wind energy costs about the same as present-day power. and the largest of these is the 354 MW SEGS power plant in the Mojave Desert. Renewable energy can also contribute to education. More Kenyans adopt solar power every year than make connections to the country’s electric grid . Brazil has one of the largest renewable energy programs in the world. and ethanol now provides 18 percent of the country's automotive fuel.These costs are all brought together. Renewable energy projects in many developing countries have demonstrated that renewable energy can directly contribute to poverty alleviation by providing the energy needed for creating businesses and employment. space heating. with a rated capacity of 750 MW. transmission and distribution of energy generated from fossil fuels can be difficult and expensive. The manufacturing output of the photovoltaics industry reached more than 2. For an investment of as little as $100 for the panel and wiring. In 2009. which can then provide power to run a fluorescent lamp or a small television for a few hours a day. but for CSP—concentrating solar power—and PV (photovoltaics) they are somewhat higher. by providing electricity to schools. Solar thermal power stations operate in the USA and Spain. renewables are on a decreasing cost curve.000 very small solar panels. The world's largest geothermal power installation is The Geysers in California. costs are comparable among wind. coal. and is widely used in several European countries and the United States. involving production of ethanol fuel from sugar cane. but these have been shown in the pan-European case to be quite low—overall. and lighting. Ethanol fuel is also widely available in the USA. Developing Country Markets Renewable energy can be particularly suitable for developing countries. Producing renewable energy locally can offer a viable alternative. and natural gas. More than 30. while non-renewables are on an increasing cost curve. Inherently. In rural and remote areas.000 MW in 2006.
for example. Political events. The cause may be over-consumption.S. in February 2008 the President of Pakistan announced plans to tackle energy shortages that were reaching crisis stage. During the latter crisis they suffered severe damage to power . aging infrastructure. In popular literature though. Pipeline failures and other accidents may cause minor interruptions to energy supplies. without fossil fuels and nuclear power. when governments change due to regime change.Potential Future Utilization Sustainable development and global warming groups propose a 100% Renewable Energy Source Supply. China experienced severe energy shortages towards the end of 2005 and again in early 2008. military occupation. Energy Crises An energy crisis is any great bottleneck (or price rise) in the supply of energy resources to an economy. At the same time the South African President was appeasing fears of a prolonged electricity crisis in South Africa.Caused by continued global increases in petroleum demand coupled with production stagnation. 2008 Central Asia energy crisis. caused by abnormally cold temperatures and low water levels in an area dependent on hydroelectric power. Attacks by terrorists or militia on important infrastructure are a possible problem for energy consumers. choke point disruption or bottlenecks at oil refineries and port facilities that restrict fuel supply. A crisis can develop due to industrial actions like union organized strikes and government embargoes. A crisis could possibly emerge after infrastructure damage from severe weather. The South African crisis. Causes Market failure is possible when monopoly manipulation of markets occurs. with a successful strike on a Middle East facility potentially causing global shortages. Despite having significant hydrocarbon reserves. it often refers to one of the energy sources used at a certain time and place. An emergency may emerge during unusually cold winters due to increased consumption of energy. Scientists from the University of Kassel have suggested that Germany can power itself entirely by renewable energy. which may last to 2012. the falling value of the U. monarchy collapse. and a myriad of other secondary causes. and coup may disrupt oil and gas production and create shortages. Emerging Shortages Crises that exist as of 2008 include: • • • • Oil price increases since 2003 . lead to large price rises for platinum in February 2008and reduced gold production. dollar. South African electrical crisis.
There may be a Relocation trend towards local foods and possibly microgeneration. . because energy is the resource used to exploit all other resources. a folding bicycle modernized and electrifying passenger transport Railway electrification systems and new engines such as the Ganz-Mavag locomotive variable compression ratio for vehicles Other responses include the development of unconventional oil sources such as synthetic fuel from places like the Athabasca Oil Sands. An early response from stakeholders is the call for reports. innovations like the Dahon. and efforts to restrict the supply of oil would have an adverse effect on the economies of oil producers. regardless of the cause. an energy shortage develops. solar thermal collectors and other green energy sources. are predicted to fall short by an estimated 10 GW. Industrialized nations are dependent on oil. Electricity consumers may experience intentionallyengineered rolling blackouts which are released during periods of insufficient supply or unexpected power outages. It has been predicted that in the coming years after 2009 that the United Kingdom will suffer an energy crisis due to it's commitments to reduce coal fired power stations. There are also movements towards the development of more sustainable urban infrastructure.• networks along with diesel and coal shortages. investigations and commissions into the price of fuels. new technology and energy efficiency measures become desirable for consumers seeking to decrease transport costs. gasoline (petrol) and diesel for cars and other vehicles rises. it's politician's unwillingness to set up new nuclear power stations to replaces those that will be de-commissioned in a few years (even though they will not be running in time to stop a full blown crisis) and unreliable sources and sources that are running out of oil and gas. Supplies of electricity in Guangdong province. the growth of advanced biofuels. the manufacturing hub of China. For the consumer. In the market. also are appearing plug-in hybrids. more renewable energy commercialization and use of alternative propulsion. the price of natural gas. When energy markets fail. It is therefore predicted that the UK may have regular blackouts like South Africa Social & Economic Effect The macroeconomic implications of a supply shock-induced energy crisis are large. Examples include: • • • • • • In 1980 Briggs & Stratton developed the first gasoline hybrid electric automobile.
Crisis Management An electricity shortage is felt most by those who depend on electricity for their heating. It is a term used to describe the trading of increased efficiency. and factories cut production and lay off workers. Various curfews with the intention of increasing energy conservation may be initiated to reduce consumption. Future & Alternative Energy Sources In response to the petroleum crisis. tidal energy. a garment to keep children warm. The risk of stagflation increases. . the principles of green energy and sustainable living movements gain popularity. biodiesel. which is also experiencing declining production in North America and elsewhere. Efficiency mechanisms such as Negawatt power can encourage significantly more effective use of current generating capacity. When not produced from natural gas. Facilities close down to save on heating oil. geothermal energy. methanol. authorities in Tajikistan ordered bars and cafes to operate by candlelight. To date. In the worst kind of energy crisis energy rationing and fuel rationing may be incurred. Energy audits may be conducted to monitor usage. The unproven dehydrogenating process has also been suggested for the use water as an energy source. As such. and wind energy.Tourism trends change and ownership of gas-guzzlers vary. Panic buying may beset outlets as awareness of shortages spread. To conserve power during the Central Asia energy crisis. solar energy. Building construction techniques change to reduce heating costs. only hydroelectricity and nuclear power have been significant alternatives to fossil fuel. Items which were not so popular gain favour. This has led to hydrogen being regarded as a 'carrier' of energy. and fusion power. Hydrogen gas is currently produced at a net energy loss from natural gas. wave power. This has led to increasing interest in alternate power/fuel research such as fuel cell technology. liquid nitrogen economy. using consumption efficiency to increase available market supply rather than by increasing plant generation capacity. In these circumstances a sustained energy crisis may become a humanitarian crisis. rather than a 'source'. it is a demand-side as opposed to a supply-side measure. If an energy shortage is prolonged a crisis management phase is enforced by authorities. Warnings issued that peak demand power supply might not be sustained. both because of increases to fuel costs which are passed on to customers. hydrogen fuel. hydrogen still needs another source of energy to create it. also at a loss during the process. potentially through increased insulation. Karrick process. cooking and water supply. like electricity. such as nuclear power plants and the blanket sleeper.
(But drilling helps!) Adjusting To Higher Fuel Price Meantime. therefore. Conventional (Non-renewable) Energy Sources. particularly with the recent fuel price decreases because of the deepening recession. . natural gas is treated. I don't believe that line of reasoning is correct. Out of the public eye. Natural gas is a "clean" fuel but the supply is somewhat limited although it is more abundant in nature than crude oil. there is obviously a little more awareness of the energy crisis among the nation's leaders as witness the occupation of oil-rich Iraq because of "WMD's" when the major issue was actually control of the Middle East's vast oil reserves. but most people have adjusted to higher gasoline prices fairly well. This is the fuel we must quickly find a substitute for. Crude oil is the most used of the three fuels and we are beginning to run out. When world Peak Oil (maximum production of oil) is reached. Because of its relative abundance. as an non-renewable alternative energy source (see next section).S. Crude oil. prices of the fuel will skyrocket. But what about the really big fuel price increases that will hit in the future as the depressed economy recovers. Coal is more abundant than crude oil but the atmospheric emissions problems with its use are severe and.Alternative Energy Sources Development …How Are We Doing? Not Enough Effort To Develop Alternative Energy Sources. Improvement in efforts to develop energy sources have not been nearly enough replace our dwindling oil reserves. the Hummers are humming away and pickup trucks are getting so large that one has trouble seeing over the top of the truck beds. coal. which consumes the most fossil fuels but where the prevailing opinion among many citizens appears to be that there is no energy crisis that can't be cured by developing the oil deposits of the Arctic Refuge in Alaska or by increased offshore drilling. its use is restricted. Gasoline and other fuel costs are up over the levels that existed several years ago. herein. we won't be able to drill ourselves out of the energy crisis. In the long run. and natural gas.. This is particularly true of the U.
Solar energy. 80's and 90's during the past energy crises. is so dirty it should not be listed as an alternative fuel at this time. Certain forms of natural gas . and GTL .. Please keep in mind that. some forms of it can actually be considered an alternative energy source in their own right. Once developed. will be badly hurt. we have to have the less exotic energy sources of categories 1 and 2. They are very important energy sources since they will likely be the "bridge" energy sources that we will have to use until the renewable energy sources are developed. CNG. These unconventional energy sources should be considered as legitimate energy substitutes since they replace conventional oil and coal. while plentiful. Renewable Energy Sources..Unconventional (Non-renewable) Energy Sources. while natural gas can be considered an alternative energy source. .. These are the alternative energy sources that are perpetually renewable. it is not a renewable energy source. ethanol. In accordance with the above definition of alternative energy source. improved energy efficiency is considered as a source. Some alternative energy sources fall into this category.... wind power.are important here. LNG. Efficiency improvements could be very important in meeting the energy shortage as similar improvements were back in the 70's. these energy sources will theoretically supply a near infinite supply of energy. These forms of natural gas or natural gas products have specific advantages when in the liquid or compressed state or when converted to a synthetic liquid fuel.. nuclear energy. and unconventional sources of natural gas such a "tight" formation gas and shale formation natural gas. etc. Otherwise. biodiesel. oil sands and nuclear energy are probably the most important of these energy sources... Coal.LNG. as discussed in the above paragraph. as we know it.when they are developed! In the meantime. We will need lots of this clean natural gas to tide us over until the more pristine alternative energy sources kick in.we will eventually run out of it! Also in this energy category are the oil sands and tar sands. Natural gas is clean and. civilization.
please note that my own projection is that Peak Oil could be arriving now. India and other developing nations continues to increase as the people living in these countries adopt more energy intensive lifestyles. I think there will be a peak oil production plateau for a few years.. discoveries of large amounts of oil and. at least.has been delayed for several years. and developing environmentally sensitive areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. look as if they are supporting alternative energy. William Catton has emphasised the link between population size and energy supply. increasing the consumption of energy. Then.... Nothing will help spur energy development more than a change of attitude about the subject. especially USA. the world is having to struggle to provide oil by using increasingly costly and less productive methods such as deep sea drilling. I don't believe in a sharp reduction in the oil production curve. particularly.originally predicted by some oil experts to arrive as early as 2005 . development of natural gas in shale formations. That gives us a little more time to get ready for the Peak Oil event that is sure to come. Instead. the per capita energy consumption of China. Time Available to Develop Alternative Energy Sources? It should also be noted that the arrival of Peak Oil . The world is not standing still waiting for Peak Oil! (Thank God!) Predictions Although technology has made oil extraction more efficient.fake solar panels have shown up in Japan! That is good! More and more people want to. At present a small part of the world's population consumes a large part of its resources..In similar fashion. at least. However. with the United States and its population of 300 million people consuming far more oil than China with its population of 1. The world's population continues to grow at a quarter of a million people per day. Don't laugh... The present economic recession. concluding that . Although far less from people in developing countries. "psychological acceptance of alternative energy" might also be included as an alternative energy source though virtually impossible to quantify. the rapid decline! It should be noted that time projections for the arrival of Peak Oil are hazardous projections to make.3 billion people. will have pronounced effects on when Peak Oil arrives.