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Renewable energy; realistic alternatives.

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The definition of a renewable energy source is sources of power that quickly replenish themselves and can be used again and again. For this reason they are sometimes called infinite energy resources. Less than 2% of the UK energy is produced by alternative sources. They also have the advantage of not giving out harmful gas pollution which can damage the environment. People say that renewable sources are the answer to our problems with energy in the UK. Wind power is a renewable source of energy. It is when electricity is generated by blades turning turbines which run a generator. They are normally generated from wind mills and the wind mills are generally cramped together to make a wind farm. It has a potentially infinite energy supply. Advantages of wind energy are as follows: it produces no air pollution and does not cause environmental problems, when they have been built using them is cheap, it does not need much space, wind is free and there are vast amounts of it and no fuel or cooling water is needed for wind mills to run. ...read more.


Wave power is a renewable source of energy. It is when water waves move into a narrow channel hitting the coast and forcing air into a turbine where it transfers it into a generator to produce energy. The advantages of it are: there is no pollution, there are minimal running costs, suitable for small islands and there is no fuel needed for it to generate electricity. The disadvantages are: you need lots of small wave generators located around the coast which also require a large area of land and water, spoils the view of the river, hazardous to boats on the coast, they are fairly unreliable as waves tend to die out when wind drops, initial cost is very high and is never likely to provide energy on a large scale. Geothermal energy is a renewable source. It is when water is pumped in pipes down to hot rocks and returns as steam to drive a generator. The source of much of the heat is the slow decay of various radioactive elements (including uranium) deep inside the earth. ...read more.


The disadvantages are: it prevents free access of boats, spoils the view, alters the habitat of the wildlife e.g. wading birds, sea creatures and creatures that live in sand, the height of the tide is variable (lower tides will provide less energy than bigger tides), the initial costs are moderately high and it can only be used in the most suitable estuaries. Hydroelectric power is a renewable source of energy. It requires the flooding of a valley by building a dam. Rainwater is caught and allowed out through turbines. The advantages of it are: there is no pollution, there is an immediate response to increased demand, and there's was no problem with reliability, no fuel required and minimal running costs. The disadvantages of it are: a big impact of the environment due to the flooding of the valley, possible loss of habitat for some species, the reservoirs can also look very unsightly when they dry up and initial costs are high. By Inderraj Alg ...read more.

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