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The then and now guide to wind power
How has the use of wind power changed over time?

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Wind power word association

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What is wind power?
Wind is the result of the Sun
heating the Earth and
creating convection currents
in the Earths atmosphere.
Using the wind as a source
of energy is not a new idea.
Sailing boats and ships, powered
by the wind, have been around
for thousands of years.
Windmills, which used the winds
power to grind corn, were once a
common landmark across Britain.
These were the forerunners to
modern wind turbines.
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How do wind turbines work?
Wind turbines have large
blades that capture the
kinetic energy of the wind.
This kinetic energy is used
directly to turn the turbine
and generate electricity.
Wind turbines are a source
of 'clean energy as they do
not produce any polluting
waste.
However, some people consider this source of renewable
energy to be noisy and an eyesore. There is also some
concern that, if wind turbines are poorly located, they could
kill migrating birds.

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Why are wind farms built?
One problem with wind turbines is that
individually they do not generate a lot of
electricity. They are usually needed in
large numbers to have a significant
impact on electricity production. A group
of wind turbines is called a wind farm.
Wind farms require space in
open areas, but the land beneath
them can also be used for
farming at the same time.
Offshore wind farms are
located at sea. This wind farm is
located 10 kilometres from the
south-east coast of Ireland.

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How are wind turbines used effectively?
The energy produced by a wind turbine depends on the wind
speed. If it is not windy, electricity is not produced, so wind
turbines are not a reliable source of electricity.
To be effective, wind turbines
need to be located in windy
areas. Unfortunately, these
upland sites are sometimes
areas of natural beauty and
some people object to building
wind farms in such areas.
Wind power can be used effectively in remote locations
to charge batteries, which can then be used to provide a
constant supply of electricity.

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Wind power true or false?

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Opinions on wind turbines

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The then and now guide to water power
How has the use of water power changed over time?

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What is hydroelectric power?
Hydroelectric power is the electricity that is generated from
the kinetic energy of moving water.
The power of flowing water
has been used for hundreds of
years to operate machinery,
such as that used to grind
corn in mills and factories.
However, this was largely
replaced by steam power in
the Industrial Revolution.
Today, hydroelectric power is generated from water flowing
in rivers or in man-made installations, were it flows from a
high-level reservoir down through a tunnel. Currently, only
about 1% of the UKs electricity is from hydroelectric power.

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How is hydroelectricity produced?
Major hydroelectric schemes
involve building a dam across
the end of a river valley to form
a reservoir. This can be done
high up in mountainous areas.
Hydroelectric power stations
are a very reliable source of
electricity and are able to start
up production quickly.
This is the Glen Canyon dam
in Arizona, USA. It has eight
generating units, which have
an electrical output of up to
1,042 megawatts.

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How does a hydroelectric dam work?

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How is hydroelectricity used effectively?
Large-scale hydroelectric
power stations must be sited
in high, mountainous areas.
Damming a river causes the
river valley to flood, which
can mean that local villages
and houses are destroyed.
Hydroelectric power schemes also cost a lot of money and
take a long time to build. However, they do last a long time
and are a reliable source of large amounts of electricity.
In the UK, hydroelectricity is generated in Scotland and North
Wales. The number of environmentally acceptable sites is
limited but several small-scale hydroelectric schemes to use
the power of our streams and rivers are also in development.

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Pros and cons of hydroelectric power

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Reporting of hydroelectric power

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What is wave power?
Wave power involves capturing the kinetic energy of the
oceans and converting it into electricity.
Wave power is actually a
form of solar energy that
is transferred to water by
the wind.
The rise and fall of waves
has the potential to be a
an unlimited source of
renewable energy.
Effective sites for harnessing wave power must have strong
waves most of the time, to ensure that enough electricity will
be produced. These sites can be on the shore or in deeper,
offshore waters.

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How is wave power used?
There are several types of wave power machines that are
able to capture wave energy and convert it into electricity.
The Limpet (Land-Installed
Marine-Powered Energy
Transformer) on Islay,
Scotland, is the worlds first
commercial wave energy
device. The low profile of
this shoreline unit is
designed so that it does
not affect coastal views.
The Limpet device uses an oscillating column of air and water
to generate a maximum output of 500 kilowatts of electricity.

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How does wave power work?

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How else can wave power be used?
Wave power could make a significant contribution to our
energy needs but is still in the early stages of development.
A deep-water device tested in
Orkney, Scotland is the Pelamis
Wave Energy Converter. The
first wave farm is planned for
the coast of Portugal.
Another proposed machine is
Salters duck, which could use wave
direction
of waves power efficiently. However, only long
chains of these units would produce
ducks move useful amounts of electricity and
up and down
these cannot be sited near boats.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of wave power?

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Wave power true or false?

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What is tidal power?
Tidal power involves harnessing the kinetic energy of tidal
waters, which flow twice a day.
The tide is the regular rising and falling of the
ocean's surface due to the gravitational pull
of the Moon, and to a lesser extent the Sun.
Tidal power involves building
a dam across a river estuary.
Water is only able to flow in
and out of the estuary through
turbines in the dam, which
harness the tidal energy and
convert it into electricity.
Tidal power stations can provide a lot of electricity but building
them is expensive and may lead to loss of wildlife habitats.
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How is tidal power used?

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How can tidal power be used effectively?
Tidal power is a predictable and
reliable source of electricity.
However, the difference between
high and low tides needs to be at
least 5 metres to generate
practical amounts of electricity.
Monthly variations in the height
of the tide also affect how much
electricity is produced.
Tidal power only produces electricity when the tide flows,
about 10 hours a day, and should be used with other sources.
Worldwide, only around 20 sites have been identified as
suitable for tidal power stations. The UK has eight possible
sites but, as yet, we do not get electricity from tidal power.

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Pros and cons of tidal power

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Glossary
hydroelectric power Electricity that is produced from
the kinetic energy of falling water.
offshore wind farm A wind farm that is located at sea.
tidal power Electricity that is produced from the rise and
fall of the tides.
wave power Electricity that is produced from the up and
down motion of waves.
wind farm A collection of wind turbines.
wind turbine A machine that uses large blades to
capture the kinetic energy of the wind and convert it into
electricity.
wind power Electricity that is produced from the kinetic
energy of moving air.

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Anagrams

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Multiple-choice quiz

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