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What would be your solution to the current energy crisis

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Introduction

What Would be Your Solution to the Current Energy Crisis?

Current demand for energy increases all the time, the population of the world is increasing rapidly meaning each day more and more people need food and warmth. Increasingly people want to travel, and the fuels we use to produce energy are swiftly deteriorating. We must use our remaining fuels wisely and efficiently and look for new sources of energy, an example of increasing efficiency, would be insulating homes more thoroughly, in this way, we can clearly make our existing supplies last for a longer period of time.image00.jpg

We also need to understand what energy sources are available on our planet, in this report I shall look at different types of energy with advantages and disadvantages for each in regard to electricity production. In particular, I shall distinguish between renewable and non-renewable energy sources, new sources are obviously being constantly researched however we must also consider the effect of each source on our increasingly delicate environment, some such energy source can cause lasting damage to this planet.

First I shall look at renewable energy sources, these are sources that can be replenished and so will not run out.

Wood is an example of a renewable energy source, it can be cut down for fuel and then fresh trees can be planted to

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Middle

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The energy produced in this way is renewable.  The sun causes the water to evaporate continuously and to be drawn up into the atmosphere.  This water then falls as rain to be collected in reservoirs and used again.

Tidal Power:

The tides also involve the movement of huge amounts of water.  Tidal power generation schemes, such as that at La Rance, Brittany, generate power by turning turbines as the tide flows into a dammed river estuary.  As the tide falls, the turbines are spun again.  

The energy for the movement of the tides is provided by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun.  This is a renewable energy source, using a small fractional of the continuous supply of gravitational energy.

Wave Energy:

Energy can also be extracted from waves.  The continuous movement of the seas and oceans is the result of the combination of tides and wind.  A variety of methods have been developed to make use of the rise and fall of water due to waves.  Again, this energy is renewable, as the movement of energy of the waves is continuously available.

Water power is clean, producing no greenhouse gases or unwanted waste products.  One drawback of harnessing water power is the visual impact on the environment of features like dams.

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Conclusion

Nuclear Power:

Nuclear reactors use uranium 235 to produce energy, the isotope 235 is needed otherwise the nuclear process cannot proceed. Although a reactor only needs a small amount of uranium, the uranium source is highly limited. Uranium was formed in the unique conditions at the start of the universe so there is no way of increasing our supplies of the radioactive material and so it is non-renewable.

Power generated by the nuclear process has the big advantage of being clean energy and so does not produce any greenhouse gases or other pollutant. The cost per unit of electricity is very low but nuclear power stations are expensive to build. Two large drawbacks of nuclear power is the risk of accidents and the problem of disposing of the nuclear waste once it has been used. The release of uranium or plutonium into the atmosphere can cause long term risks to all living things, such as the nuclear explosion at Chernobyl rendering the area unusable for decades.

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Nuclear power stations can be seen in more economically developed countries such as France and America. The image shows a nuclear power plant in Springfield, America(!)

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