chen 1000 solar energy

chen 1000 solar energy - J Jordan Bouchard CHEN 1000-001...

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J. Jordan Bouchard CHEN 1000-001 02/05/2008 Homework #1: Alternative Energy Energy is defined as the ability to do work. Harnessing energy and using it for constructive ends as economically as possible is the challenge we face everyday. Also, efforts to reduce pollutants and greenhouse gases are a primary focus in today’s culture. Alternative or renewable energy, sources show significant promise in helping to reduce the amount of toxins that are by-products of energy use. Not only do they protect against harmful by-products, but using alternative energy helps to preserve many of the natural resources that we currently use as sources of energy. The use of renewable energy is not new. Five generations (125 years) ago, wood supplied almost all of our energy needs. Due to the convenience and low prices of fossil fuels, especially for natural gas, wood and other renewable sources usage has fallen in the United States. The use of renewable sources is also limited by the fact that they are not always available. For example, cloudy days reduce solar energy, calm days mean no wind blows to drive wind turbines, and droughts reduce water availability to produce hydroelectricity. Despite these limitations, renewable energy plays an important role in the supply of energy. Unlike fossil fuels, most renewable sources do not directly emit greenhouse gases . The United States currently relies heavily on coal, oil, and natural gas for its energy. Alternative energy refers to energy sources which are not based on the burning of fossil fuels or the splitting of atoms. Fossil fuels are nonrenewable, that is, they draw on finite resources that will eventually dwindle, becoming too expensive or too environmentally damaging to retrieve. In contrast, renewable energy resources are constantly replenished and will never run out. “The advantages of most renewable processes
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are low-cost or no-cost primary energy source (e.g., sunlight, wind, or geothermal energy), continuing availability, and little or no addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere (National Research Council).” There are many sources of renewable energy, but the five most popular sources of alternative energy are
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This note was uploaded on 05/03/2008 for the course CHEN 1000 taught by Professor Degrazia,j during the Spring '04 term at Colorado.

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chen 1000 solar energy - J Jordan Bouchard CHEN 1000-001...

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