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Renewable and non-renewable energy sources.

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Renewable and non-renewable energy sources Energy resources can be described as renewable and non-renewable. Renewable energy sources are those which are continually being replaced such as energy from the sun (solar) and wind. If an energy resource is being used faster than it can be replaced (for example, coal takes millions of years to form) then it will eventually run out. This is called a non-renewable energy source. Renewable energy sources: Solar Power: Solar energy is light and heat energy from the sun. Solar cells convert sunlight into electrical energy. Thermal collectors convert sunlight into heat energy. Solar power is used in watches, calculators, water pumps, space satellites, for heating water, and supplying clean electricity to the power grid. There is enough solar radiation falling on the surface of the earth to provide all of our energy needs. Advantages Disadvantages * There is enough solar radiation falling on the earth to provide for all of our energy needs. * It is a lot cleaner than using fossil fuels and does not harm the environment. * It is good to use for heating water (Solar thermal electric generating plants) ...read more.


* A large wind turbo generator needs a minimum annual average windspeed of about 25 km/h. * Sites need to be clear of tall vegetation and are often on prominent hills and headlands or in coastal areas. * Wind farms can be a danger to migrating birds flying at night and can cause TV and radio interference in nearby homes. * Sometimes are said to spoil the scenery. Hydroelectric energy: Hydroelectricity is produced from falling water. The movement of the water spins turbines that generate electricity. Places with high rainfall and steep mountains are ideal for hydroelectricity. Canada, Brazil and New Zealand produce most of their electricity this way. Advantages Disadvantages * Doesn't cause pollution * Does not need to be entirely built always * Locations where there is melting snow e.g. New South Wales can be used * Ecosystems may be destroyed * Cultural sites may be flooded and sometimes people need to be resettled * Impacts on fish breeding * Loss of wildlife habitat * Changes in water flow of rivers * Can be expensive because it sometimes requires the building of large dams on rivers * ...read more.


But instead of becoming a rock, it became a liquid trapped between layers of rocks. It can be made into gas, petrol, kerosene, diesel fuel, oils and bitumen. Advantages Disadvantages * Used for heating and cooking * Used in factories as a source of heat energy * Used in power stations and to provide fuel for transport * Producing petrochemicals such as plastics produces large amounts of carbon dioxide emissions produces other poisonous gases that may harm the environment and people's health Gas: Gas is made in the same way as petroleum and is also trapped between layers of rock. Natural gas is tapped, compressed and piped into homes to be used in stoves and hot water systems. LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) is made from crude oil. Advantages Disadvantages * used for cooking and heating in homes * industrial heating in boilers * kilns and furnaces * for camping and caravanning appliances * can also be used as an alternative to petrol as an engine and transport fuel * Using LPG reduces greenhouse gas emissions from a vehicle by up to 20 per cent. * not a huge domestic supply * non-renewable fossil fuel ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Overall, the essay provides some insights into the advantages and disadvantages of renewable and non-renewable energy sources. It deals with a number of key examples of each category and provides easy-to-read tables allowing the reader to see at a glance the main advantages and disadvantages of each energy source.
However, the essay lacks the necessary breadth and depth to score highly at A'Level.

Breadth: a number of energy sources were omitted from the discussion. These include tidal and wave power (renewable) and nuclear power (non-renewable). A number of important advantages and disadvantages were omitted from the tables. References were not quoted or listed, an important component of any well-researched A'Level essay.

Depth: the essay lacked data to support many of the assertions made about each type of energy source. Energy density, remaining reserves, cost per kW, greenhouse gas contributions - all these would have added weight to the arguments.

Marked by teacher Ross Robertson 01/03/2013

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