21- New Renewables

21- New Renewables - Environmental Problems Biol 1305 New...

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New Renewable Energy Alternatives Environmental Problems Biol 1305
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“New” renewable energy sources Alternative energy sources that include Energy from the Sun, wind, geothermal heat, and movement of the ocean water They are commonly referred to as “new” because: They are not yet used on a wide scale Their technologies are still in a rapid phase of development They will play a much larger role in our energy use in the future
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Use expanding quickly because of: Diminishing fossil fuels Environmental impacts of fossil fuel combustion Technology advances make it easier and less expensive Benefits of the new renewables include: They alleviate air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that can cause climate change They are inexhaustible, unlike fossil fuels Help diversify a country’s energy economy They create jobs and are sources of income and taxes, especially in rural areas
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New technologies require more labor per unit of energy output More jobs will be generated than remaining with a fossil fuel economy Rapid growth will continue as: Population and consumption grow, energy demand increases, fossil fuel supplies decline, and people demand a cleaner environment New energy sources create jobs
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Our transition must begin soon Technological and economic barriers prevent an overnight switch to renewables Receive little government help Need infrastructure Gradual Transition- companies can’t change rapidly Transitioning too slowly will cause fossil fuel depletion, and renewables will not be able to compensate
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Solar energy Sun provides energy for almost all biological activity on Earth Each square meter of Earth receives about 1 kilowatt of solar energy = 17 times more than a light bulb Passive solar = most common way to harness solar energy Buildings are designed to maximize direct absorption of sunlight in winter and keep cool in summer Active solar energy collection = uses technology to focus, move, or store solar energy Solar energy has been used for hundreds of years
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Passive solar heating is simple and effective Low south-facing windows maximize heat in the winter Overhangs on windows block light from above in the summer Thermal mass = construction materials that absorb, store, and release heat Planting vegetation in strategic locations By heating buildings in winter and cooling them in summer, passive solar methods conserve energy and reduce costs
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Active solar energy collection Flat plate solar collectors (solar panels) = one active method for harnessing solar energy Installed on rooftops Dark-colored, heat-absorbing metal plates Water, air, or antifreeze pass through the collectors, transferring heat throughout the building Heated water is stored and used later
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Concentrating solar collectors Focusing solar energy on a single point magnifies its strength Solar cookers = simple, portable ovens that use reflectors to
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This document was uploaded on 10/27/2011 for the course BIO 1305 at Texas Tech.

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21- New Renewables - Environmental Problems Biol 1305 New...

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