• 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)

    This means after eating an apple the concentration of glucose in the blood will rise gradually. In general, complex carbohydrates will have a low GI and simple carbohydrates, a high GI. For rowing training, foods of varying GIs are needed at different times.

  2. Marked by a teacher

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

    4 star(s)

    Some of the modules are set on special tracking devices to follow sunlight all day long. The electrical energy from solar cells can then be used directly. It can be used in a home for lights and appliances. It can be used in a business.

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

    * The pleura has two layers, the inner layer, visceral layer which sticks to the lung tissue and covers the surface and the outer parietal layer which sticks to the chest wall and the top of the diaphragm. * The two layers are separated by a space called pleural cavity which is filled with a serious fluid.

  2. the role of pathology service

    to the top, with a ''Buffy coat'' (which contains leucocytes and platelets) in the middle. The appearance of the centrifuged sample can also provide subjective information about the patient's health. PCV can be used as a screening tool for anaemia and to indicate the degree of fluid loss in dehydration.

  1. chemistry of renewable resources

    A little more than 25 percent of the resources remain to be discovered. Several discoveries have not yet been approved for production. Our goal is to achieve an average recovery of 50 percent of the discovered oil and 75 percent of the discovered gas Advantages * Very large amounts of

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

    environmental and seismic surveys are complete the business will not give guarantees that there is oil. There are three different ways of drilling exploratory wells and they are. Jack-up unit barge with a drill which is used in 100m of water Semi-submersible drilling rig is used to drill whole 300m or more of water.

  1. Coastal Ecosystems: Rocky shores

    The single most important factor here is temperature. All rocky shore organisms are restricted by their ability to withstand, at the one extreme, frozen water, and at the other, high summer temperatures. Another important influence is exposure again. This not only affects the width of zones, but can prevent species from living on shores where other physical conditions are suitable.

  2. Natural resources and renewable energy.

    Constant water movements in these zones stir up nutrients rich in silt available to producers. * Climate control This is a naturally occurring service in the biosphere. Changes in weather patterns affect distribution of water and essential mineral cycling powered by solar energy through cycles as the hydrological.

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