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Energy Source Pros and Cons

Energy Source Pros Cons


Coal Relatively inexpensive (low cost) Is non-renewable, there is a finite
Relatively low capital investment supply
Abundant supply The largest contributor to global
Continuous power, good warming due to greenhouse gases(CO2)
utilisation. High load factor High cost of transporting coal to
Substantial existing infrastructure- centralised power plants
mature industry Coal ash is a hazard and a disposal
Can be converted to a liquid or a problem
gas, which burn cleaner High levels of radiation at coal plants
Most of our electricity Pollution, respiratory illnesses
Lots of jobs
Oil Abundant in supply Emits carbon dioxide (greenhouse
No new technology required gases)
Moves vehicles faster and longer Non-renewable
than any other energy source Drilling can lead to spills-hazardous
Easy to transport in liquid form both to mankind and pollution
Substantial energy-one of the Expensive
highest energy densities Disasters of oil drilling-works injured
Easily produced and refined
Gas Delivery infrastructure already Non-renewable fuel, supply cannot be
exists replaced for millennia
Burns quite efficiently Emits carbon dioxide when burned
Can be used as an automotive fuel Explosive-dangerous
Burns cleaner than gasoline or Concentrated sources require distance
diesel transmission and transportation
No waste or residue to deal with Requires extensive pipelines to
Natural gas industry employs 1.2 transport over land; equipment
million people Significant environment risks associated
with fracking; eg. water pollution,
leaks lead to gas in water

Solar Renewable source of energy Expensive to set up the solar panels


Abundant in supply; the potential Intermittent; access to sunlight is
of solar energy limited at certain times
Sustainable-we can never over- Energy storage is expensive in
consume batteries; technology is expensive
Environmentally Friendly-does not Associated with pollution, some
cause pollution manufacturing processes are associated
Good availability; is available all with greenhouse gas emissions
over the world Requires spacious areas, for higher
Reduces electricity costs power density
Solar cells effectiveness, air pollution
could cause problems
Hydro Renewable source of energy Environmental impact, changing water
Clean, does not cause pollution levels and flooding large areas-having a
Is a safe energy conversion strong impact on wildlife and the
compared to nuclear energy and ecosystem
fossil fuels Displaced people, construction of a
The energy output can be large dame often requires that entire
regulated to adapt to the towns move out of the area
consumption needs and storage Expensive, a very important initial
capacity investment
Durability, dams can produce Accidents, past old dams often suffered
energy for decades breaches which led to floods and
Reliable, very little fluctuations in deaths
terms of the electric power Droughts, electricity generation and
produced by the plants energy prices are directly related to
how much water is available
Geothermal Environmentally friendly Electricity is still needed to operate
compared to gas or oil furnaces heat pumps
Not a significant source of Geothermal energy using wells requires
pollution an incredible usage of water
Efficient Discharge into the Earth could include
A renewable source as long as the sulphur dioxide and silica
Earth exists Damage to underground loops can be
No cost fluctuations determined difficult and costly to repair
by gas and oil prices Large scale geothermal power plants
Not weather dependent are dangerous to the Earths surface
Technology behind geothermal
energy will only continue to
improve in efficiency
Wind Does not cause pollution Wind reliability, changes in weather
The potential of wind power is Threat to wildlife, the edges of wind
enormous, more energy produced turbines can actually be unsafe to
Wind turbines are incredible natural life
space-efficient Noise and visual pollution
The operational costs associated Expensive to set up the wind turbines
with wind power are low Risks the safety of people, severe
Good domestic potential, extra storms and high winds can cause
savings for land owners damage to the blades of wind turbine
Renewable source of energy Effect on environment, needs open
areas of land meaning clearing of lands
(cutting trees)
Tidal Renewable energy source Expensive to build
Environmentally friendly, does not Locations are often remote
emit any climate gases Barrages may restrict access to open
Tidal currents are highly water
predictable, making it easier to Can change tidal level of surrounding
construct the system area
Effective at low speeds Disrupts regular tidal cycles
High efficiency Reduces kinetic energy in the ocean
You are to use your table to present an argument for how YOU think Australia should manage its
energy requirements with the available energy sources listed above. Be sure you justify your
decision using the arguments you have found and ensure the reliability of your information using the
table below and providing a bibliography. (1 2 pages max)

Australia should manage its energy using renewable resources for a more efficient use of the Earths
resources and preserve them for future generations. Hydro energy resources and wind energy is
largely being developed and growing rapidly, and although Australias renewable resources has been
limited by higher transformation costs relative to other energy sources, they are more
environmentally friendly to those of non-renewable resources. Whereas, non-renewable energy
sources; coal, oil and gas have a bigger environmental impact on the world, for they emit
greenhouse gases and other forms of pollution. These fossil fuels will eventually run out because we
are using them much faster than they can be restored within the earth. Burning fossil fuels produces
photochemical pollution from nitrous oxides, and acid rain from sulphur dioxide. Burning fuels also
produce greenhouse gases including vast amounts of carbon dioxide that may be causing the
phenomenon of global warming that the planet is currently experiencing. Renewable energy sources
are generated from natural resources and can be naturally replenished, preserving our non-
renewable and limited resources.

Australias hydro energy resources lie within areas of highest rainfall and elevation, hydro energy
resources were developed early in Australia and are currently the largest source of renewable
electricity. Hydro energy is non-polluting and safe energy conversion, which is a reliable source of
energy as it has very little fluctuations in terms of the electric power produced by the hydro power
plants. Moreover, the energy output can be regulated to adapt to the consumer needs and storage
capacity, which reduces the extensive cost of the storing of energy in batteries. Hydroelectric power
is exceptionally dependable and stable energy, as there are no issues as far as the electric power
that is constantly produced by the plants, unless an alternate source is required.

Whilst, Australia has some of the best wind energy resources in the world with its wind energy
technology relatively mature, and wind power expanding rapidly. Wind energy is encouraged by
government policies, notably a renewable energy target for its potential of wind power is enormous,
and can create huge amounts of energy and non-polluting technique. Whereas, the operational
costs for the wind turbines are low and provide extra savings for those who are landowners are large
areas.

Geothermal energy is another renewable energy source that doesnt create a significant source of
pollution and is environmentally friendly. Australia has large but as yet inadequately defined and
quantified geothermal energy resources. These include hot-rock type geothermal resources
associated with buried high heat-producing granites as well as hot sedimentary aquifer-type
geothermal resources present in deep aquifers in a number of sedimentary basins. There are also no
cost fluctuations determined by gas and oil prices and geothermal energy is not dependent on the
weather. Whilst, the technology for geothermal energy is already developed to a resourceful
standard it still continues to improve in efficiency.

However, I think hydro and wind energy are the best renewable sources that are capable of
producing majority of Australias electricity. These two energy sources can produce large amounts of
energy without the environmental impact of pollution. Although, geothermal energy is also an
effective energy resource, but can cause pollution and environmental issues when dealing with the
injecting of the remaining water back into the Earth.
Web address: http://www.ga.gov.au/scientific-topics/energy/basics#heading-2
Title of page: Basics-Geoscience Australia
Who put the information
government
there?
Very
How reliable do you think the source of information is? Reliable Unreliable
reliable
Reason for reliability
The website is a government website, which are normally accurate
rating:
How current is the information? Current Recent Outdated
Is the site regularly updated? Weekly Monthly Yearly Never
What is the purpose of the site? Personal Public Political
Is there any evidence of bias in the information? Yes No
Outline any bias you
find:
Confidence in accuracy and reliability: Very Confident Not

http://www.solarschools.net/resources/stuff/non_renewable_energy.as
Web address:
px
Title of page: Non-renewable Energy
Who put the information
there?
Very
How reliable do you think the source of information is? Reliable Unreliable
reliable
Reason for reliability It seems to be accurate with the definitions and has a few statistics
rating: that support the views on the issues
How current is the information? Current Recent Outdated
Is the site regularly updated? Weekly Monthly Yearly Never
What is the purpose of the site? Personal Public Political
Is there any evidence of bias in the information? Yes No
Outline any bias you
find:
Confidence in accuracy and reliability: Very Confident Not