Joe’s blog on renewables

Renewable Energy blog

To start off this blog I will review the numerous ways that we can all harness energy from. I will also explain the advantages and disadvantages of those renewable sources of energy.

Let’s begin with…

Wind

With wind power, we build wind turbines in less populated areas that, as they rotate around, they will power anything from a small house to a town. This is an advantage! As we all know that wind power is renewable. It is an infinite source (for as long as the Earth can keep its atmosphere), so we can collect the energy for as long as we like. A disadvantage would be the cost of the wind turbines. Constructing one turbine may cost something like a few thousand pounds. A whole array of wind turbines would cost hundreds of thousands! Another disadvantage would be where to build the wind turbines. I wouldn’t want to be near a field of wind turbines because it would be too noisy. It would probably wake us up sometime in the morning and you wouldn’t feel like waking up yet. Let’s just make sure that the government builds them in places out of our way but can still collect enough energy to power our homes.

However, we can build smaller wind turbines. They probably won’t be too noisy and they might be enough to power an entire town.

In October 2015, it was announced that the wind energy collected in the UK between 2014 and 2015 was enough for £1.25 billion and enough to hire 30,500 people for new jobs.

Solar

About 93 million miles away is our Sun. It’s the only thing that keeps us alive by giving us its heat and light. But for a civilization like us, we can collect that energy from solar panels. This is another infinite source! It will run out of energy in 5 billion years (and possibly destroying our planet in the process), but that’s long enough for us to survive. Just like building wind turbines, solar panels will be costly. The energy they collect is already enough to power homes, as people are already doing that.

The down-side to solar panels is that they would only collect energy during day-time, when the Sun is in the sky. Maybe they could put the energy into batteries so we can use electricity during night-time. What do you think?

In August 2015, it was revealed that solar windows were being developed. These act like solar panels, but they can be your windows!

Developed by American scientists, these solar windows could collect 50 times more energy than normal solar panels. Imagine a skyscraper with solar panels. These would only generate 87,000 KWh a year. Scientists can imagine a skyscraper with these solar windows which could collect energy up to 1.3GWh, which would be enough to power 130 homes for year! How amazing is that?

The solar window is made from organics: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. Imagine your window collecting solar energy from dawn to dusk! However, it would only work during the day…

Geothermal

Geothermal power is when we collect our energy from volcanoes which continuously spew out thousands to millions of tonnes of ash every year. Geothermal power is renewable, as long as the volcanism on Earth remains active for as long as we’re here. And again, the disadvantage is the cost of the energy collectors. There are so many volcanoes on Earth that we may need to harness the energy of a few, not all of them because it would be too expensive. We also want to be careful with super volcanoes. These volcanoes can eject a 1,000km2 of ash and dust and block out the Sun for decades. Let’s just be careful with super volcanoes. If they erupt, then the power plant will be destroyed.

In June 2012, the UK signed an agreement with Iceland to use the heat from their volcanoes, which are currently active. The last major eruption in Iceland was in April 2010. Britain could also be using Iceland’s geothermal power soon.

Tidal

We should all know that the Moon controls the tides on Earth. At day, they sweep further in and at night, they flow back into the sea. This is another option! As long as the Moon keeps controlling the tides (until we lose it in roughly a billion years) we can harness energy from it. And again… it’s costly! We would need to build a few of them, maybe one for each coastal city? Let me know below! Even if we did that, it will still cost thousands or even a million pounds to construct them.

In June 2015, it was revealed that Britain will be the first country to use a tidal lagoon. Located in Swansea Bay, it will be one of the first tidal lagoons to be used.

The tidal lagoon located in Swansea Bay.

The tidal lagoon is believed to be completed by 2023, only eight years from now. When it becomes fully operational and complete, it will power up to 320MW which will be enough for 155,000 homes (about 90% of all Swansea Bay homes). This tidal lagoon will be operational for 14 hours for about 120 years.

The Swansea Bay tidal lagoon could save about 236,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year!

 

These are all the possible ways we could collect energy from renewable energy sources. Discuss below about the ways you think would be the best to collect energy. I want to know what you think is the best way to collect energy from.

Thanks for reading!

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