Essay 3 - Michael Knutson Tollitson 5 October 2010 ESRP...

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Michael Knutson Tollitson 5 October 2010 ESRP Section 8 Essay 3 In the United States we have grown quite accustomed to the use of appliances and gadgets that use electricity. This electricity--that powers our world--is created and distributed to our homes and businesses through an interconnected system known as an electric grid. The variance of demand for electricity within regions makes the electric grid the most efficient way to distribute electric power. For example, a lot less power is used to light someone’s house than is used to generate Safeco Field. The electric grid also makes it possible to keep power plants and energy generators out of heavily populated areas because the system can transmit the power long distances (4). Though the components and operation of the electric grid are complex, the design and idea are both quite simple. The centerpiece of the system is the generator, which turns energy into electricity. This generator is most commonly powered by the burning of fossil fuels at power plants. Power lines transmit the electricity—in high voltages—to substations in local communities. Electric energy is converted to lower voltage forms, to suit the needs of the people in the community, and then transmitted to local homes and businesses. Though this system is effective, it’s not flawless. The creation of electric energy is most commonly manufactured via the burning of harmful greenhouse gasses at coal, and nuclear power plants. Besides the obvious effects of pollution on the environment, the creation of electric energy is problematic in the department of storage. Storing large amounts of electricity is tricky, which means the power plants must generate exactly the amount of electric energy needed for use to avoid waste. Recently however, alternative, sustainable methods of creating electric energy have been discovered (4). The first type of alternative energy technology worth mentioning is the solar power
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2012 for the course ESRP 101 taught by Professor Kathryntilotson during the Fall '10 term at Washington State University .

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Essay 3 - Michael Knutson Tollitson 5 October 2010 ESRP...

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