Producing Electricity from Fossil Fuels and Renewable Sources

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Generating Electricity
For many years, we have generated electricity in much the same way:

We can also use the heat from NUCLEAR REACTIONS to make the steam.

Nuclear fuels become hot without burning but the most commonly used fuels are burned to make heat. These are: COAL, OIL and NATURAL GAS (Methane)

These fuels were dug out of the ground. They had taken millions of years to make and so are called FOSSIL FUELS and are NONRENEWABLE.


Made from the remains of plants which died millions of years ago

OIL and NATURAL GAS (Methane) Made from the decayed remains of sea creatures which died millions of years ago

Even though it was not made from dead plants or animals, nuclear fuel is considered to be a fossil fuel because it comes from the ground and is running out.

All these fossil fuels are running out and burning them increases carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which increases the GREENHOUSE EFFECT, causing GLOBAL WARMING. Some fossil fuels contain SULPHUR and when they burn this becomes SULPHUR DIOXIDE, a poisonous gas which reacts with water in the atmosphere to form SULPHURIC ACID or ACID RAIN.

To solve the problems of fossil fuels, we need to develop: RENEWABLE FUELS such as BIOMASS (Wood etc). Quick-growing plants can be burnt in power stations instead of fossil fuels but plants can also be grown to produce oils or sugars to make alcohol which can be used as a fuel like petrol. RENEWABLE forms of energy such as: Wind

Hydroelectric schemes
These use the GPE(GNOME Palmtop Environment) of water on hills to generate electricity as it flows downhill.

Special versions of this can be used to produce energy quickly on demand.

Tidal Power.

Wave Power 1.

Wave Power 2


Solar 2

Solar 3

Geothermal In certain parts of the world, heat from the Earth can be used to produce steam to power turbines and heat homes.

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