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

Can we meet global energy demands just from renewable energy sources?

Extracts from this document...


Can we meet global energy demands just from renewable energy sources? Currently, the majority of our energy comes from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels take millions of years to form. They're a non-renewable resource because reserves are running out faster than new ones are being made. Renewable energy is naturally replenished and comes from natural resources like sunlight, water, wind and geothermal heat. The Sun provides enough energy in one minute to supply the world's energy needs for one year. If this could be harvested then it could mean the end of energy problems in the world. There are two types of solar panels: solar heating panels which heats water into steam which turns a turbine generating electricity and solar cell panels which produce electricity directly. ...read more.


A disadvantage of solar heating panels is that there are moving parts that are noisy and require maintenance. Wind turbines use wind to spin turbines which generates electricity. A single large wind turbine could only generate around 2MW when it is windy so thousands of wind turbines would be needed to replace a single power station. This requires land as wind turbines are very large, which some people complain "spoils the landscape" although there is also potential to have offshore wind farms. The cost of building and maintaining wind turbines would be expensive and they are also noisy so couldn't be located near residential areas. ...read more.


Unlike the other forms of renewable energy, hydroelectric energy can be controlled so that the water flows through the dam when more energy is needed. To conclude, making all of our energy renewable would require an extremely large investment for the start-up costs for all of the various types of power station. Also, with the exception of hydroelectric power, the other forms of renewable energy cannot be controlled (you can't decide when it's sunny, it's windy, the tide is, etc.) so the energy would need to be stored somehow. This could possibly be done by electrolyzing water turning it into hydrogen and storing it, although this isn't very efficient. Furthermore, large areas of land will be required and some forms of renewable energy can damage the environment badly. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Earth and Beyond 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 GCSE The Earth and Beyond essays

  1. Are humans to blame for Global warming or is it a natural phenomenon? ...

    They contain carbon as they were previously carbon-based life forms. These include coal, oil and natural gas. Fossil fuels are non-renewable resources because they take millions of years to form, and reserves are being depleted much faster than new ones are being formed.

  2. Are fossil fuels being overused?

    First of all, it is not necessarily oil that causes the pollution; it is more the emissions created by the used products derived from oil. For instance crude oil doesn't really give off environmentally harmful emissions, but car emissions do, and we all know that most cars run off petrol or gasoline, and these are both products created from oil.

  1. Are mans activitys affecting global warming

    For Europe (and North America) we have many more hotspots than for some other regions of the world, although impact studies have been emerging in larger numbers in recent years from previously under-studied regions. This higher density of early warning signs in Europe is due in part to the fact

  2. Human Impact On the Environment

    in 6 locations within the arctic sea at 2 different times; from 1958-1976 and 1993-1997. It shows the ice thickness at the Chukchi Cap, Beaufort Sea, Canada Basin, North Pole, Nansen Basin and Eastern Arctic. The first turquoise bar for each location shows the ice thickness in 1958-1976 and the second blue bar shows the ice thickness in 1993-1997.

  1. Should the UK build more Nuclear Power Stations?

    The two new atoms emit gamma radiation as they settle into their new states. Three things about this induced fission process that make is especially interesting. The probability of a U-235 atom capturing a neutron as it passes by is fairly high.

  2. Find out how magnesium ribbon reacts with various chlorides.

    The table below shows how electrons fill the orbitals in each sub-shell. Sub-shell Orbitals Electrons s 1 1 x 2 = 2 p 3 3 x 2 = 6 d 5 5 x 2 = 10 f 7 7 x 2 = 14 s-orbitals > An s-orbital has a spherical shape.

  1. Alternative Energy Research Essay

    ________________ The dictionary meaning of ‘alternative energy’ is as follows: al·ter·na·tive en·er·gy noun Energy generated in ways that do not deplete natural resources or harm the environment, esp. by avoiding the use of fossil fuels and nuclear power. (http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=alternative+energy&tbs=dfn:1&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=OBFfTooGhsqsB5_bqL4P&ved=0CCMQkQ4&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=756c45c4808f223d&biw=1366&bih=688>) Alternative energy in today’s terms means ‘Renewable Energy’ i.e.

  2. Are Humans causing global warming?

    In fact, there is evidence of 4 such ice ages in the last 2 million years with humans with humans only being around for the latest one occurring roughly 10,000 years ago. This suggests that the global climate does naturally change over years.? 1.

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