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Thoughts/Connections

"Clean Energy" Union of


Concerned Scientists. Science
for a Healthy Planet and Safer
World. October 13, 2015
<http://www.ucsusa.org/
clean_energy#.Vh0s29YDq0>.

Coal and gasoline are very


unclean, non renewable types of
energy that produce
(surprisingly) not much energy at
all. The leading cause of air
pollution is coal plants. However,
many coal plants have begun to
shut down due to inefficiency
and virtually no new coal plants
are under construction at the
time. We have instead begun to
rely on natural gas. This poses
risks in that it is not an indefinite
solution to the problems that we
face. Soon, it will run out. It is
also (much like coal) a very dirty
source of energy which
generates a large amount of
pollution. Fortunately, there are
resources that are more efficient
and produce little to no pollution.
Examples include but are not
limited to wind, solar, and
geothermal energy. Theres also
the much riskier nuclear energy,
though it is still very unsafe to an
extent.

This source helped me to better


understand the alternatives to
our current methods of energy
consumption and also became
basically all my other sources. I
began researching the types of
energy mentioned in this article
to fill out the rest of my research.

Solar Energy" SEIA. Solar


Energy Industries Association.
October 13, 2015 <http://
www.seia.org/about/solarenergy>.

One alternative to natural gas


and coal is solar energy. Solar
power uses the energy of the
sun to harness the power of the
sun and convert it into usable
energy. Solar energy is the
cleanest alternative to fossil
fuels. It is the most abundant
resource available to us. It can
be harvested constantly as long
as the sun burns. There are
multiple ways to harness energy
from the sun. Photovoltaics,
solar heating and cooling,
concentrating solar power, and
passive solar energy. Active
solar systems use mechanical
and electrical means of
conversion. Passive means
collect and store energy and
disperse it when needed. The
technology is flexible. Power
plants can be built near the point
of use. A utility scale solar plant
can also be built similar to a
traditional power plant.

This source was important


because it explains one of the
methods by which we can
eliminate pollution and convert to
a more reliable form of electricity.
It also helped me to learn that
wind is a type of solar energy.

"Wind Energy Basics" Wind


Energy Development
Programmatic. October 13,
2015 <http://windeis.anl.gov/
guide/basics/>.

Wind energy is actually a type of


solar energy. Wind is generated
by the uneven heating of
atmosphere and the motion of
the earth. Wind energy is only a
term used to describe the way in
which wind is used to generate
power. This is done through the
use of wind turbines. These
function like the exact opposite
of a fan. Instead of using energy
to generate wind, wind is used to
generate the energy. Two types
are utilized: Horizontal and
vertical. Most turbines are
horizontal, which look like giant
propeller blades perched onto a
large pole. Vertical turbines look
similar to an egg beater pointed
straight into the air coiled around
a pole protruding from the
ground. Turbines are often
grouped together to form one
large power plant. These are
often referred to as a wind farm.

This site was important due to


the fact that it taught me one
significant thing: the wind is a
result of the sun. While wind and
solar energy are not necessarily
the same thing, they are related
in that as long as the sun
continues to burn, both of these
sources will be available.

"Hydropower Technology"
Renewable Energy World.
October 13, 2015 <http://
www.renewableenergyworld.c
om/hydropower/tech.html>.

About 10% of the nations energy


is generated from hydropower.
Hydropower is energy that is
generated from the movement of
falling or rushing water. The
kinetic energy of the movement
can be harnessed and converted
into electricity. This is called
hydroelectric power. It is often
derived from a power plant on a
dam or river. Water is first stored
in a reservoir. The water is then
released and flows through a
turbine. The action of the water
causes the turbine to spin, which
activates a generator to produce
electricity. An advantage of
hydroelectric power is that it
does not necessarily require a
large dam. Some plants use a
small canal or river. Pump
storage plants are also viable.
Instead of immediately rerouting
power, they store until it is
needed.

Hydroelectric power is notable in


that it will likely play a larger roll
in the future. Water is another
resource that can basically never
run out. So, like wind and solar
energy; it will be available as
long as the earth itself is still
here.

"Ocean Energy Technology"


Renewable Energy World.
October 13, 2015 <http://
www.renewableenergyworld.c
om/ocean-energy/tech.html>.

A sort of sub category of


hydroelectric power is ocean
energy. The ocean is capable of
producing two types of energy:
thermal and mechanical.
Thermal energy is produced from
the suns heat. The ocean is the
largest gatherer of solar energy
in the world. Because of this, just
a fraction of the oceans energy
could power the entire world.
Ocean mechanical energy is
generated much differently from
thermal energy. Primarily due to
the fact that the motion of the
waves is dictated by the gravity
of the moon and action of the
mind as opposed to the sun. In
mechanical energy, the oceans
warm temperature is used to
evaporate a fluid. Which then
activates a turbine to produce
electricity. an extent wave and
tidal activity is intermittent,
whereas thermal is constant.

This is important to understand


given that it resonates to
hydroelectric power. The
statement about how the ocean
could easily power the entire
world could play a massive role
in the future. If we could discover
how to fully harness the power of
the ocean; there would be no
more need for really any other
kind of energy, since the ocean
will always be here.

"Geothermal Energy
Technology" Renewable
Energy World. October 13,
2015 <http://
www.renewableenergyworld.c
om/geothermal-energy/
tech.html>.

The earth itself maintains a


constant temperature. This heat
is called geothermal energy.
Heat pumps are able to harness
this energy to heat and cool
buildings. This system operates
based on the time of year. In the
winter, the warm air used to heat
a building and its water supply. In
the summer the cool air is used
to service a building. Most of the
reservoirs are in the western
U.S. as well as Alaska and
Hawaii. It is possible to drill into
the earth to construct a well
capable of gathering the energy.
Some power plants use steam
generated by the earth to power
a turbine, while others use
boiling water that vaporizes and
then turns the turbine.

This resource is valuable in that


the earth is literally available
everywhere. Rock exists
EVERYWHERE under our feet.
All we have to do is drill down
and take it. It is by far the easiest
to get to should we ever need it.

"The oil and gas industry's


assault on renewable energy"
environmental defense fund.
20 Oct. 2015 <https://
www.edf.org/blog/
2013/04/26/oil-and-gasindustrys-assault-renewableenergy>.

The oil and gas industry are


fighting to impede the process of
renewable energy. Many worry
that the new forms of cleaner
and more efficient energy
production will render fossil fuels
obsolete and therefore bankrupt
the industry. These companies
are fighting through means such
as passing legislature. One
group in particular is aiming to
make teaching climate change in
schools illegal. Others have
attempted to camper people who
believe in global warming to the
likes of Osama Bin Laden and
Charles Manson.

This is important to know


because obviously a new type of
energy will be in competition with
the existing forms of energy. Its
also somewhat incriminating for
the fossil fuel industry.

"Solar energy system OKd


for Tonawanda Landfill" City
and Region. 20 Oct. 2015
<http://
www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/town-of-tonawanda/
solar-energy-system-okd-fortonawandalandfill-20151019>.

Recently, a landfill was closed


and will now serve as a wind
farm. By the end of next year,
California will install about 8500
solar panels in the former landfill.
Also, the town of Tonawanda will
buy power from the wind farm for
roughly six cents an hour
reducing the towns electric bill by
about 200,000 dollars. Even
better is that the production is
expected generate almost three
thousand jobs.

This shows the prgress of


renewable energy in the U.S. It is
growing consistently faster and
hopefully will continue to do so.