renewable resources and alternative energy sources

turning trash into treasure

Scientists at the Massachusetts of Technology are turning trash into coal, which can readily be used to heat homes and cook food in developing countries. This coal burns cleaner than that from fossil fuels. It also save a tremendous amount of energy. See for more information. Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL:

alternative energy sources

A nonrenewable resource is one that cannot be replaced as easily as it is consumed. Fossil fuels are an example of nonrenewable resources. They take millions of years to form naturally, and so they cannot be replaced as fast as they are consumed. To take the place of fossil fuel use, alternative energy resources are being developed. These alternative energy sources often utilize renewable resources. The following are examples of sustainable alternative energy resources: Solar power, which uses solar cells to turn sunlight into electricity ( Figure 1.2). The electricity can be used to power anything that uses normal coal-generated electricity. Wind power, which uses windmills to transform wind energy into electricity. It is used for less than 1% of the worlds energy needs. But wind energy is growing fast. Every year, 30% more wind energy is used to create electricity. Hydropower ( Figure 1.3), which uses the energy of moving water to turn turbines (similar to windmills) or water wheels, that create electricity. This form of energy produces no waste or pollution. It is a renewable resource. Geothermal power, which uses the natural flow of heat from the Earths core to produce steam. This steam is used to turn turbines which create electricity. Biomass is the mass of biological organisms. It is usually used to describe the amount of organic matter in a trophic level of an ecosystem. Biomass production involves using organic matter ("biomass") from plants to create electricity. Using corn to make ethanol fuel is an example of biomass generated energy. Biomass is generally renewable. Tides in the ocean can also turn a turbine to create electricity. This energy can then be stored until needed ( Figure 1.4). Dam of the tidal power plant in the Rance River, Bretagne, France





renewable resources and alternative energy sources

A resource is renewable if it is remade by natural processes at the same rate that humans use it up. Sunlight and wind are renewable resources because they will not be used up ( Figure 1.1). The rising and falling of ocean tides is another example of a resource in unlimited supply. A sustainable resource is a resource that is used in a way that meets the needs of the present without keeping future generations from meeting their needs. People can sustainably harvest wood, cork, and bamboo. Farmers can also grow crops sustainably by not planting the same crop in their soil year after year. Planting the same crop each year can remove nutrients from the soil. This means that wood, cork, bamboo, and crops can be sustainable resources.

instructional diagrams

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the ocean tides are a renewable resource.

-->  a. true

b. false

fossil fuels are an example of nonrenewable resources.

-->  a. true

b. false

this form of alternative energy uses the natural flow of heat from the earths core to produce steam.

a) solar power

-->  b) geothermal power

c) wind power

d) hydropower

these three alternative energy sources are generated by turning turbines.

a) wind power, solar power and hydropower

b) wind power, solar power and geothermal power

-->  c) wind power, hydropower and geothermal power

d) hydropower, solar power and geothermal power

sustainable resources include

a) wood, bamboo and wind

-->  b) wood, cork and crops

c) cork, crops and water

d) sunlight and wind

this form of alternative energy is used to generate electricity.

a) hydropower

b) wind power

c) geothermal power

-->  d) all of the above

why are alternative energy sources important?

a) because they are needed to take the place of fossil fuels.

b) because they use renewable resources.

c) because some produce no waste or pollution.

-->  d) all of the above

diagram questions

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