• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why are fossil fuels so important to society, and why do we need to develop renewable fuels for the future?

Extracts from this document...


Why are fossil fuels so important to society, and why do we need to develop renewable fuels for the future? Fossil fuels are substances, which were created several hundred million years ago through the decomposition of prehistoric organisms and plants. Machines such as televisions, cars and computers we take for granted in our daily lives, need energy to run. The energy used to power these energy things come from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels can be categorised into three types; petroleum, natural gas and coal. Examples of petroleum fuels include gasoline, kerosene and diesel fuels. Because of petroleum's importance to our energy needs, infrastructure necessary to extract oil from the ground and refine it is already in place, and this oil is relatively economical source of energy. One of the major forms of natural gas is propane, which is also useful in a number of applications, including transportation. We burn natural gas to heat our homes, hot water and for industrial processes. Another form of fossil fuel is coal. ...read more.


Most common alternative is capturing falling water to generate electricity. Hydropower is a very effective source of electricity, which has already proven as a non-pollution alternative to fossil fuel. Drawbacks however are that since hydropower is generated by turbines in dams which capture the power of the rivers, fish stocks is disrupted therefore threat to species living in rivers is grater. Another source of renewable energy being exploited is wind power, where the wind turns large turbines to generate electricity. There are a number of interesting benefits. Firstly it is economical and becomes more economically as efficiency increases. Secondly, although many wind turbines are requires to produce significant amounts of electricity, wind turbines occupy very small area on the ground. However like solar energy, the practicality of wind power varies by region, wind thus cant be a complete replacement to fossil fuels. A true alternative to fossil fuel may lie in harnessing the energy of hydrogen. "Hydrogen accounts for about 80% of all matter in universe." Already used in commercial hydrogen production, electrolysis with its use of electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen is the simplest method. ...read more.


On the other hand nuclear energy is very economical. After food, fossil fuel is humanity's most important source of energy. Fossil fuel plays a major role in our economy and many of our current technology have been developed with fossil fuel in mind. We cannot deny however that the burning of fossil fuel is damaging the Earth's environment with the release of pollution to the atmosphere. In addition ecosystems are becoming damaged by the extraction of fossil fuel. Fossil fuel is highly integrated in society and this then must be phased out slowly. For this reason fossil fuel must be replaced with clean source of energy discussed in this essay. First, all current source of renewable energy, be it solar, hydro, wind or nuclear based, must remain on-line. Technology is available to eliminate the use of fossil fuels. It is not a matter of whether or not these energies should be introduced on a large scale, but rather a matter of how long this harm to the environment can be tolerated. It may be impossible to reverse the effects of fossil fuel- generated pollution. Only the clean energies of the future cal assure a healthy future for the Earth and its occupants. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Energy, Respiration & the Environment section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Energy, Respiration & the Environment essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Home Economics - Why is nutrition important to sports people?

    5 star(s)

    Glycogen Glycogen is the best source of energy for muscles during exercise. The body's stores of glycogen are small and are easily depleted after ninety minutes exercise. Typically, it takes twenty four hours to replenish these stores, but the optimum glycogen conversion occurs in the 1-2 hour period following exercise.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    To make sure we have plenty of energy in the future, it's up to ...

    4 star(s)

    Solar Cells or Photovoltaic Energy We can also change the sunlight directly to electricity using solar cells. Solar cells are also called photovoltaic cells -- or PV cells for short -- and can be found on many small appliances, like calculators, and even on spacecraft.

  1. Crude oil and its value to society.

    The major classes of hydrocarbons in crude oils include: * Paraffins * general formula: CnH2n+2 (n is a whole number, usually from 1 to 20) * straight- or branched-chain molecules * can be gasses or liquids at room temperature depending upon the molecule * examples: methane, ethane, propane, butane, isobutane,

  2. Why the Body Needs Energy? Every living cell within the ...

    with muscle fibres towards the edges and has three origin which are > Posterior > Lateral > Anterior * When relaxed it is a dome shape and when its is contracted it is flat The Function of the Diaphragm * Inspiration or inhalation happens when the diaphragm contracts, it flattens

  1. chemistry of renewable resources

    * Burning coal produces more carbon dioxide than burning oil or gas. It also produces sulphur dioxide, a gas that contributes to acid rain. We can reduce this before releasing the waste gases into the atmosphere. * Mining coal can be difficult and dangerous.

  2. the role of pathology service

    body is stored as ferritin in the bone marrow, spleen and liver. The amount of ferritin in serum is directly proportional to the amount of iron in the body. Serum ferritin levels are, therefore measured to diagnose iron deficiency anaemia.

  1. Coastal Ecosystems: Rocky shores

    to have large plants. It occurs here because: * rock offers a stable platform for attachment. Of course, roots would be no use, so the plants are algae, which have a holdfast instead * the water is shallow, giving enough light for photosynthesis. Note that algae lower down on the shore tend to have air bladders to keep themselves floating in the surface water.

  2. formation, extraction and separation of the crude oil.

    but now they can also use Seismic data which shows three different kinds of pictures. Before doing any thing we have to check for the environmental problems which can be caused for e.g. fish, whether whales migrate through the area and if so, at what time of year.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work