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Electricity Generation in the UK - Essay Example

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This is related to provide a cost effective technology so as to meet the growing demands of various levels of consumers. Almost every product at some or the other stages during its manufacture or sale require the use of electricity.
To meet these demands enhancements in the methods of electricity generation are being implemented keeping the merits and de-merits of the technology in terms of environmental concern. To reduce the damages caused to the environment the conservation of energy becomes important. Changing trends emphasise on using renewable, sustainable energy sources, an alternative to fossil fuels, the use of low or no carbon technologies to reduce the environmental hazards (the IET Energy principles, www.theit.org/factfiles). There are basically two main sources to derive electricity-
A fissionable material like Uranium is used to generate heat in the core of the reactor. This heat is passed away by a coolant liquid or gas, which is then used to generate steam. The fission reaction emits neutrons, controlled by a set of rods made of a material capable of absorbing neutrons. Lowering this rod can shut down the reactor in emergencies. To protect the operators "biological shield", consisting of concrete several metres thick, surrounds the powerful radioactive reactor. (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation).
Gas provides 39% of electricity and 70% heat at homes in UK ...
(Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation).
In UK its use is increased from 8.5% (1992) to 10% (1998) for electricity production (the IET Energy principles, www.theit.org).

2. By burning fossil fuels-
a. Natural Gas:
Gas provides 39% of electricity and 70% heat at homes in UK (parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, postnote, February 2007 number 280). UK is now venturing into; Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) natural gas technology is used to generate electricity. This is not only efficient in its energy providing feature but also cost-effective, reliable and on top environmentally sounds. The process comprises of fuelling of gas turbines by natural gas, which heats water into steam. It is the steam that rotates an electricity generator. (http://www.edfenergy.com/about-us/energy-generation/story-power-generation.shtml)
b. Coal:
It was the mainstay of electricity generation in UK, accounting for one-third of the UK's electricity; this has reduced from two-third from 1990s. It is estimated that one-third of the existing stations will close down by 2015 in compliance to the law made to restrict SO2 emissions (Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, postnote, February 2007 number 280). The coal is finely grinded as face powder in pulverizing mills and mixed with warm air blown into furnace, here it burns like a gas. The power station has furnace as its largest structure which is lined with water pipes to extract maximum heat from the burning fuel. Water in the pipes is converted to high-temperature and high-pressure steam. This steam is supplied to the turbine where heat energy is converted to mechanical energy. The low-temperature, ...Show more
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Summary

The generation of electricity is the process of conversion of energy stored in natural fuels to electrical energy. The process is based on the induction principle formulated in 1831 by the English scientist Michael Faraday and the American scientist Joseph Henry independent of one another…
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