October 4, 2011

4.17 Energy Advantages

Describe the advantages and disadvantages of methods of large-scale electricity production from various renewable and non-renewable resources.

Energy Source
Advantages of Use
Disadvantages of Use
Fossil Fuels
Fuels readily available, easy to make electricity.
Fuels are non-renewable, produce C02 and so add to global warming, acid rain. Oil spills damage environment.
Nuclear
Creates large amounts of energy, is reliable and relatively cheap to set up. Produces no C02.
Expensive to decommission power stations after use. Waste is produced that is dangerous for long periods. Reactors that are not cooled will overheat and release waste.
Wind
Produces no C02. Once setup takes little maintenance. Renewable.
Expensive to set up. Installations may be noisy and seen as ugly. Unreliable as you cannot count on the wind all the time.
Wave
Produces no C02.  Small devices can produce large amounts of electricity. Out to sea means out of sight. There are large areas unused across the globe. Renewable.
Easily destroyed by bad weather. Electricity produced needs to be transferred over long distances. Expensive to set up.
Tidal
Reliable as the tides are predictable as they depend on the Sun and Moon.
Produces no C02. Renewable.
Few areas are suitable of being dammed. The dam restricts movement of sea life. Silt will build up. tides vary in strength throughout the day. Expensive to set up.
Hydroelectric
Produce no C02. Once set up have little maintenance cost. Create useful water resources. Can be turned on and off instantly. Renewable.
Expensive to build. Destroy ecosystems. If dams break damaging flooding will occur. Most areas in the world that can be used are being used.
Geothermal
Virtually emission free. Some reduce sulphur emissions. Simple systems are easy to maintain. No fuel costs. Renewable.
Expensive to set up. Expensive drilling through hot rocks. Limited areas in the world where hot areas are close to the surface.
Biomass
Produces no long term C02. Renewable as trees can be regrown
Limited areas of land available. Reduces the production of food.
Solar Heating
Produce no C02. Renewable. Light is free.
Unreliable as the sun does not shine all the time. No sun at night.
Solar (Photovoltaic) Cells
Produce no C02. Renewable. Light is free. Can be small to be used instead of batteries.
Unreliable as the sun does not shine all the time. No sun at night. Expensive to set up.

1 comment:

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