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The energy requirements - Essay Example

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Since the reserves of fossil fuels are rapidly running out due to extreme commercial and industrial use, the world is pitting its hopes in finding alternative sources of energy…
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The energy requirements
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The energy requirements

Fossil fuels are the remains of the living organisms that inhabited this world millions of years ago. The dead bodies of these organisms were buried deep down under the rocks where lack of oxygen prevented the decay. After about a period of millions of years, these corpses have converted into fossil fuel on exposure to extreme conditions of heat and pressure. Examples of fossil fuels include coal and oil. Fossil fuels have been used since ages as a fuel to power the industries and with the advent of electricity, they began to be utilized as an important source of energy. The reason why fossil fuels are considered as attractive sources of energy is that they have a high carbon content which can easily burn in air to provide the great amount of heat energy per unit weight which in turn can be used to run generators to produce electricity (Hodge, 2009). Since the reserves of fossil fuels are rapidly running out due to extreme commercial and industrial use, the world is pitting its hopes in finding alternative sources of energy....
Since the reserves of fossil fuels are rapidly running out due to extreme commercial and industrial use, the world is pitting its hopes in finding alternative sources of energy. Two of the most promising of such sources are the nuclear power and the solar power. The metals that have a very high atomic mass are unstable and hence they disintegrate ejecting subatomic particles. These subatomic particles can be used to harness energy in two ways. The first one is nuclear fission in which a ‘heavy’ atom disintegrates into two lighter atoms generating energy in the process. The other is nuclear fusion in which a lot of energy is first provided to fuse together light atoms of two elements to form one ‘heavy’ atom releasing substantial amount of energy in the process. Compared to fossil fuels, these sources of nuclear energy are very efficient and produce huge amount of energy. One ton of Uranium can produce the same amount of energy as produced by 16000 tons of coal (Hodge, 2009). Nuclear energy is also friendly to the atmosphere since there is no release of harmful gases or pollutants into the air. Harnessing energy from fossil fuels is however easier when compared to nuclear power since construction of a nuclear plant is very expensive and even though there is no release of gaseous pollutants, the solid nuclear waste needs to be disposed off safely since it remains toxic for more than thousand years, which is a big problem and a major disadvantage when it comes to using nuclear fuels as an energy resource. Another alternative to fossil fuels is the solar energy which has a lot of potential to develop into the fuel of the future. The light and heat energy from the sun is converted into electrical energy ... Read More
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