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Chapter 18

Alternative Energy
and the Environment

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Environmental Science 5e
Introduction to Alternative Energy
Sources
• Alternative Energy
– Renewable and nonrenewable energy resources that are
alternatives to the fossil fuels
• Renewable Energy
– Alternative energy sources, such as solar, water, wind and
biomass, that are more or less continuously made available in a
time framework useful to people
• Nonrenewable Energy
– Alternative energy sources, including nuclear and geothermal,
that are dependent on fuels or a resource that may be used up
much faster than it is replenished by natural processes

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Solar Energy
• Passive Solar Energy Systems
– Direct use of solar energy through architectural design
to enhance or take advantage of natural changes in solar
energy that occur throughout the year without requiring
mechanical power
• Active Solar Energy Systems
– Direct use of solar energy that requires mechanical
power; usually consists of pumps and other machinery
to circulate air, water or other fluids from solar
collectors to heat sink where the heat may be stored
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• Solar Collectors: provide space heating or hot water

• Photovoltaic: converts sunlight directly into electricity

• Power Towers: type of solar energy system

• Solar Ponds: generate low-temperature water

• Ocean Thermal Conversion: involves using the ocean


as a giant solar collector

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Hydrogen
• Fuel generated by the sun
• Fuel cells: uses and stores hydrogen

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Water Power
• A form of stored solar energy
• One of the world’s oldest and most
common energy sources
• Sources vary in size

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Tidal Power
• Form of water utilizing ocean tides in
places where favorable topography allows
for construction of a power plant

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Wind Power
• Alternative energy source that has been
used for centuries
• More recently thousands of windmills have
been installed to produce electric energy

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Biomass Energy
• Energy that is recovered from biomass,
which is organic material such as plant and
animal waste
• Sources of Biomass
• Biomass Energy and the Environment
• Future of Biomass

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Environmental Science 5e
Geothermal Energy
• Natural heat from the interior of the Earth
that is converted to heat buildings and
generate electricity

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Environmental Science 5e