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Renewable Energy




Fuel cells (Hydrogen) by Alex Morhen

                       Yr8 Geography week 30

How does it work?
  Fuel cell cars look like conventional vehicles from the outside, but inside they
  contain technologically advanced components not found on today's vehicles. The
  most obvious difference is the fuel cell stack that converts hydrogen gas stored
  onboard with oxygen from the air into electricity to drive the electric motor that
  propels the vehicle.

The Good points                      The Bad points
• Less Greenhouse Gas                • Onboard Hydrogen Storage.
  Emissions. Fuel cell cars            Storage systems are still too large,
                                       heavy, and expensive.
  powered by pure hydrogen
                                     • Vehicle Cost. Fuel cell cars are
  emit no GHGs from their              currently too expensive to compete
  tailpipe, only heat and water.       with hybrids and conventional
• Less Air Pollutants. Fuel            gasoline and diesel vehicles.
  cell cars powered by pure          • Fuel Cell Durability and
  hydrogen emit no harmful             Reliability. Fuel cell systems are
  pollutants.                          not yet as durable as internal
                                       combustion engines and do not
• Reduced Oil Dependence.              perform as well in extreme
  hydrogen can be derived from         environments, such as in sub-
  domestic sources, such as            freezing temperatures.
  natural gas and coal, as well as   • Getting Hydrogen to
  renewable resources such as          Consumers. New facilities and
  water. That would make our           systems must be constructed for
                                       producing, transporting, and
  economy less dependent on            dispensing hydrogen to consumers.
  other countries.                   • Safety. Hydrogen, like any fuel, has
                                       safety risks and must be handled
                                       with caution.

Is there a future for it?
   • These vehicles are in the early stages of
     development, and several challenges must be
     overcome before these vehicles will be
     competitive with conventional vehicles.

   • Manufacturers are still improving the efficiency
     of gasoline and diesel powered engines, hybrids
     are gaining popularity, and advances in battery
     technology are making plug-in hybrids and
     electric vehicles more attractive. So fuel cell cars
     will have to offer consumers a viable alternative,
     especially in terms of performance, durability,
     and cost, to survive in this ultra-competitive
Isabel Sharp
How does it work?
The most way is through the use of photovoltaic (PV) technology,
which directly transforms sunlight into electricity.
A solar panel is made up of sections of the solar cells. When visible
to photons found in sunlight, some electrons of the solar cells are
knocked loose. These loose electrons create an electrical current
which can be used for electricity.
Another way that solar power works is through the use of solar
thermal collectors, which capture heat from the sun.
Solar thermal collectors are put into three different groups low,
medium , and high-temperature collectors. Low temperature
collectors are flat plates normally used to heat swimming pools.
Medium-temperature collectors are flat plates used to make hot
water for housing and money-making. High temperature
collectors are used mostly for electric power making
Good and bad points about solar power
Good points                              Bad points
•It’s free energy (when its sunny)       •Doesn’t work very well when it’s
•Pollution free.                         raining.
•The panels last sometimes more          •You won’t get as much power
then 30 years.                           when it’s a really cloudy day.
•You can use there batteries for night   •Expensive to put in.
time use.
                                         •Takes up a lot of space.
•The panels can be installed
anywhere.                                •People can be silly with them (use
                                         them freely)
•You don’t have to harm the land
because the energy comes from the        •They can be eye sores.
                                         •Solar cells are not completely
•It doesn’t produce any carbon           efficient yet.
Solar power in the future?
Some people think there will be a future for solar power.
When we run out of fossil fuels they think that solar power
will be are main energy source.
But their big worry is the cost of solar power, they fear that
it is just to expensive to install. They also
think that when we are running low on
fossil fuels that there will be a point that
fossil fuel and solar power will be worth
the same.
I think there will be a great future for
solar power 
Wind is simply air in motion. It is caused by the
uneven heating of the Earth's surface by the sun.
Because the Earth's surface is made of very different
types of land and water, it absorbs the sun's heat at
different rates. One example of this uneven heating
can be found in the daily wind cycle.
 During the day, the air above the land heats up more
quickly than the air over water. The warm air over the
land expands and rises, and the heavier, cooler air
rushes in to take its place, creating wind. At night, the
winds are reversed because the air cools more rapidly
over land than over water.

                                       By Shannon
              Good points.
• A windmill on a farm can make only a small
  amount of electricity - enough to power a few
  farm machines. To make enough electricity to
  serve lots of people, power companies build
  "wind farms" with dozens of huge wind turbines.
• Wind farms are built in flat, open areas where
  the wind blows at least 14 miles per hour. Iowa
  currently has more than 600 wind turbines,
  producing enough electricity to power 140,000
  homes. Minnesota and Wisconsin are also home
  to wind farms – and the number is growing every
                                 By Shannon
                          Bad points
• The oil shortages of the 1970s changed the energy picture for the
  Country and the world. It created an interest in alternative energy
  sources, paving the way for the re-entry of the windmill to generate
  electricity. In the early 1980s, wind energy really took off in California,
  partly because of State policies that encouraged renewable energy
• In the 1970s, oil shortages pushed the development of alternative
  energy sources. In the 1990s, the push came from a renewed concern
  for the environment in response to scientific studies indicating potential
  changes to the global climate if the use of fossil fuels continues to
  increase. Wind energy is an economical power resource in many areas
  of the country
• Growing concern about emissions from fossil fuel generation, increased
  government support, and higher costs for fossil fuels (especially natural
  gas and coal) have helped wind power capacity in the United States
  grow substantially over the past 10 years.
                                                   By Shannon
   The future’s wind turbines!
• Wind power

                       By Shannon

         All about
By Sim    waves!     14
              How do they work?
• Waves Transform Energy Over Vast Distances – Were They
  Make Landfall.
• They Impact A Watery Pulse Upon Intertidal Zones And Trim
  Back Coastal Sand Dunes As They Creep Towards The Sea.
• Intertidal zones = The Intertidal Zone Is The Area Of The Sea
  Floor That Lies Between The High Plus Low Tide Marks It Also
  Bridging The Gap Between Land And Sea.
• Coastal Sand Dunes = Coastal Sand Dunes Are Dynamic But
  Fragile Buffer Zones Of Sand And Vegetation That Form
  Where The Following Three Characteristics Can Be Found!

By Sim                                                      15
                 The Good Points!

• It Is A Renewable Source Of Power One of the
  advantages of wave energy is that it is completely
  renewable and sustainable, with no effort made on the
  part of humans to make sure this cycle continues.
• No Damage During Tidal And Wave Energy Recovery
  Wave energy advantages include the fact that
  recovering this power does not cause massive damage
  to the earth.
• Better National Security And A Domestic Energy Supply
  Wave energy advantages include those to national
  security and the energy supply. With power from the
  ocean there is no need to rely on foreign supplies of
  fossil fuels, or to experience price fluctuations due to
  global concerns.
                                              By Sim 16
                 The bad points
• Waves are a result of the effects of wind on the
  oceans and seas. This wind originates from the
  major influx of energy to this planet: solar energy
  from the sun.
• The energy contained within waves is around the
  world is huge; in some places values of
  70MW/km of wave front are experienced. In
  theory it could then be said that huge generating
  stations could be built which would capture all
  this energy and supply all or most of our needs.

By Sim                                           17
         Is there a future for waves?
• Yes there is a future for waves as long as we
  don’t do too much pollution.

By Sim                                      18
                      Information on biomass
Biomass is the oldest of all “renewable” energy. Plants and animal waste,
generally organic materials, contain this precious and important resource.
Biomass is renewable because of the process of which it is formed.
Biomass is made up of solar energy, carbon dioxide and water. Plants
produce biomass through the photosynthesis process they do, the
chlorophyll in the plants absorbs the sun's energy by inhaling carbon
dioxide and changing it into carbohydrates. Plants then take from the air
and water stored in the ground when making the carbohydrates. When
the carbohydrates are burned, they convert back into carbon dioxide and
water, thereby releasing the sun's energy back into the atmosphere.
Some types of biomass are plants, wood, grass, animal waste, landfill
waste, and also sewer waste. The most typical and often used method of
accessing the biomass in these materials is through burning; however,
this creates environmental problems and most of the energy gets lost
when biomass is burned.
                                              By Luke
                             How does it work
The most simple way of using biomass to
  produce energy is burning. The energy
  can be used as light and heat or can be
  transformed to produce electricity by
  boiling water, which produces steam and
  spins a turbine. The more high-tech
  methods of extracting energy from
  biomass involve transforming the
  physical organic matter itself into a more
  combustible material. Hydro gasification
  adds hydrogen gas to carbon in biomass
  to produce highly flammable methane.
  Hydrogenation actually converts biomass
  into oil by combining it with carbon
  monoxide. Other methods convert
  biomass into fuels that can be used
  everyday in trucks and cars. Another use
  of biomass energy is mulching, which
  uses the organic content of biomass to
  fertilize soil and feed plants.               By Luke   20
                     The advantages and disadvantages
The Advantages
• The biggest advantage of biomass          The Disadvantages
   energy is that it is renewable. Plants   • As compared to fossil fuels,
   and trees can be grown for use, and        biomass energy is quite
   they can be re-grown again and
   again on the same piece of land.           expensive to use. This is mainly
• Another major advantage of                  because a lot of research is still
   biomass is that it helps reduce            needed to be done, methods of
   waste. Everyday, million of tonnes         extraction have to be refined,
   of waste is produced which includes        and biological matter for the
   biodegradable waste, hazardous
   wastes, recyclable waste,                  biomass has to be consolidated.
   construction waste and assorted          • Another disadvantage of
   waste. Normally, waste is dumped           biomass energy is that it causes
   in the landfill, which causes
                                              air pollution, just the same
   widespread pollution. When the
   waste is utilized as biomass, the          manner as the fossil fuels.
   problem of pollution is solved and
   energy is also obtained.
                                                   By Luke
                      Is there a future for biomass?
I think there could be a future for biomass
    because, when all of the fossil fuels are
    used up, biomass will be a good way to
    produce energy. Though it pollutes the
    atmosphere, fossil fuels pollute the
    atmosphere just as well. However,
    biomass also uses wastes and will help
    reduce wastes and pollution from
    landfill. So actually, biomass does not
    pollute as much as fossil fuels if you
    think of it this way. In fact I think that
    we could use more of biomass energy
    now instead of using non-renewable
    energy, as only around 14% of the
    world's main energy consumption is           By Luke
    biomass energy.                                        22
The principal of how it works in a car is basically the
same as normal diesel, you put it in, it ignites and starts
the car, however is you have a diesel car and you want to
put biodiesel in you need to make certain adjustments.
You can use different types of crops to make biodiesel,
soybean, sunflower, groundnuts and canola.

Less C⁰2 comes out your      Cons
car.                         (There is basically only one
It is not as harsh on your   Con)
engine.                      If you take away the land
It is cheaper than petrol,   used to make food and use it
diesel.                      for biodiesel, then there will
It can be homemade.          be less land to grow food
                             while the demand for food
                             climbs (this is very much a
                             one sided story)
Definitely, most of Europe has already started to switch
from petrol/diesel to biodiesel and the demand for it else
where is very high.


Electric cars are the newest invention. The work like regular
cars except they do not have a combustion engine. So there
is no need for gasoline.
The motor is powered by lots of batteries. The batteries are
powered by being arranged in a row and then their powers
are combined to produce enough current for the car to move.
As the car moves the power is sued up. The batteries can be
recharged after the car has made some miles.

The good points:
• They reduce pollution and reduce global warming.
• They save gasoline for things that gasoline is needed for.
• You save money from not using gasoline.
• They will eventually reduce the price of gasoline.
The bad points:
• It is not extremely reliable because if you run out of battery you are
  likely to crash.
• The electricity bill will be high.
• The batteries will get old and stop working which means you have to
  pay a lot of money for new batteries.

There might be a future for electric cars but not right now.
People are debating whether you can rely on them or not
which is slowing down the process.
Car manufacturers such as the ‘Nissan Leaf’ are said to have
a whole stock ready for selling in 2012.
The newspapers say that the electric cars are not reliable and
that they are rubbish, that’s why they haven’t succeeded in
the past.
Also, nobody wants to buy a car which is at least £14,000 and
has not been proved to work.
People are doubting that the car is ‘green’ and can help the

Wave power

 By Grace
                   Introduction             • While water in a wave
                                              appears to move is single
                                              direction, in fact it is only the
                                              wave that propagates in that
                                              fashion. Individual molecules
                                              of water move in an ellipse
                                              and end where they began
                                              before the wave. It is this
                                              elliptical movement of the
• Wave energy refers to any process that      water, and anything floating
  derives power from the movement of          in it, that is harnessed to
  waves on the surface of a body of water.    produce wave energy.
  The energy in waves comes from wind,
  which is driven by unequal heating of the
  Earth by the sun. Wave energy is a very
  clean and renewable source of energy.
  It's not the same as tidal power, which
  uses the regular ebb and flow of the
  ocean to generate power. Instead there
  are several different methods of creating
  electricity from the movement of waves
  through water
    Good Points (And Bad Points?) On Wave
• 1.Tidal And Wave Energy Is Predictable One of the biggest
  wave energy advantages is that this alternative energy
  source is predictable, and that is not true of most
  alternative sources. The waves will continue to form and
  move, and severe weather in the ocean only increases the
  energy potential of the waves.
• 2.It Is A Renewable Source Of Power One of the
  advantages of wave energy is that it is completely
  renewable and sustainable, with no effort made on the part
  of humans to make sure this cycle continues. There is
  enough power in the oceans of the world to power the
  globe many times over each year.

Good Points And (And Bad Points?) On Wave Energy
• 3.No Damage During Tidal And Wave Energy Recovery
  Wave energy advantages include the fact that recovering
  this power does not cause massive damage to the earth.
  Recovering fossil fuels can be very damaging, and leave
  large holes or craters and other damage to the land.
  Capturing the movement of the ocean and using it does not
  damage the surrounding areas.
• 4.Reduce Pollution And Greenhouse Gas Emissions Less
  pollution and Greenhouse Gas Reduction is one of the
  most important advantages of wave energy. This power
  source does not release any particulates or Greenhouse
  gases which contribute to smog and global warming.
• 5.Better National Security And A Domestic Energy Supply
  Wave energy advantages include those to national security
  and the energy supply. With power from the ocean there is
  no need to rely on foreign supplies of fossil fuels, or to
  experience price fluctuations due to global concerns. This
  source can be utilized domestically instead.
                  Future For Wave Energy
• Wave Energy has been given financial support to investigate the
  possibility for a full-scale implementation of a Wave Energy-structure in
  connection with the jetty reconstruction project at the Port of Garibaldi in
  Oregon, US. The initial budget for the first stage of the technical
  feasibility study is approximately 600 000 NOKs, of which 270 000 will be
  covered by Innovation Norway through their ”high Growth”-program. The
  study is split into two phases where phase 1 commenced in April, and is
  expected to be finalised by the end of July.
• Pending the results of phase 1, the second phase determining
  implementation and building methods of the Wave Energy-structure will
  start in September 2010 with the 1st of October 2011 targeted for phase
  2 completion.
• General Manager of Wave Energy, Monika Bakke, underlines the
  project´s importance for promoting strategic alliances and building
  stronger partnerships in the US
• – North America is an important market for our technology and an
  important part in our long-term business strategy, Ms Bakke said, and
• – We believe the Port of Garibaldi-project will be a reference project
  that will open doors in the North American market.

A huge dam (called a           How it
"barrage") is built across a
river estuary. When the        works
tide goes in and out, the
water flows through
tunnels in the dam.
The ebb and flow of the
tides can be used to turn a
turbine, or it can be used
to push air through a pipe,
which then turns a turbine.
Large lock gates, like the
ones used on canals, allow
ships to pass.
The only operational on in
Europe is on the Rance
Estuary in Northern
France                                  36
                  Wave power
Pros                      Cons
Once you've built it,
tidal power is free.      A barrage across an estuary
It produces no            is very expensive to build,
greenhouse gases or
other waste.              and affects a very wide area
It needs no fuel.         The environment is changed
It produces electricity   for many miles upstream and
Not expensive to          downstream, especially the
maintain.                 birds
Tides are totally
predictable.              There are few suitable sites
Offshore turbines and     for tidal barrages.
vertical-axis turbines
are not ruinously         Only provides power for
expensive to build and    around 10 hours each day,
do not have a large
environmental impact.     when the tide is actually
                          moving in or out.            37
            Waves – the future
   Lots of universities are trying design systems
   that have less impact than barrages, which do
   have a heavy environmental impacts

  Proposed for    A study by Swansea
Strangford Loch                        Research in Canada
                       University                       38
   N Ireland
   Hydro power from rivers
There are many hydro-electric
power stations, providing around
20% of the world's electricity. A
dam is built to trap water,
usually in a valley where there is
an existing lake.
Water is allowed to flow through
tunnels in the dam, to turn
turbines and thus drive
Notice that the dam is much
thicker at the bottom than at
the top, because the pressure of
the water increases with depth.

         Hydro from rivers
Pros                       Cons
Once the dam is built,     Very expensive to build.
the energy is virtually    – However, many dams are also
free.                        used for flood control or
                             irrigation, so building costs can
No waste or pollution        be shared.
                           Building a large dam will
Very reliable              flood a very large area
Water can be stored        upstream, causing problems
and used when needed       for animals that used to live
Hydro-electric power       there.
stations can increase to   Finding a suitable site can
full power very quickly,   be difficult
unlike other power         Water quality and quantity
stations.                  downstream can be
Electricity can be         affected, which can have an
generated constantly.      impact on plant life
       Hydro – the future
Currently, it produces 6% of worldwide energy
supply and 20% of its electricity.
In the developed world many of the best sites
have already been developed.
Most of those which are still possible are in
LEDCs. As they are very expensive, LEDCs are
not building them themselves. But World bank
investments in schemes in the past have led to
environmental and social consequences that
many local people and organisations like WWF
for instance are fighting any new ones.
So while hydro is an important renewable, it is
unlikely to grow much more.
         Geothermal Power
Hot rocks underground heat
water to produce steam.
We drill holes down to the
hot region, steam comes up, is
purified and used to drive
turbines, which drive electric
There may be natural
"groundwater" in the hot
rocks anyway, or we may need
to drill more holes and pump
water down to them.

Pros                  Cons
Geothermal energy     The big problem is that there
does not produce      are not many places where you
any pollution         can build a geothermal power
The power stations    station.
do not take up        – You need hot rocks of a suitable
much room, so           type, at a depth where we can drill
                        down to them.
there is not much
                      – The type of rock above is also
impact on the           important, it must be of a type that
environment.            we can easily drill through.
No fuel is needed.    Sometimes a geothermal site
Once you've built a   may "run out of steam", perhaps
geothermal power      for decades.
station, the energy   Hazardous gases and minerals
is almost free        may come up from underground,
                      and can be difficult to safely
                      dispose of.                    43
            The future
Using geothermal energy as a means of
heating buildings will become more
common. For this you take heat from
below ground but not that deep down,
and use a heat exchanger to warm air
that can then heat your home, even in
There are also sites in volcanic regions in
the developing world which will be able to
generate electricity for the hot rocks

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