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Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources Webquest Key 1. Anything people use for survival or progress that is taken from the environment. 2. 2 categories: renewable and nonrenewable 3. Something that is continuously available or can be replenished relatively easily: it can be renewed just as quickly as it is consumed. 4. Water, soil, animals, forests, agricultural products, sunlight, and wind. 5. It’s important to monitor their use in order to avoid overconsumption, especially in the case of forests, which take decades to renew. 6. Renewable energy includes continuously renewable resources such as sunlight, wind, water & geothermal power, all of which are replenished naturally. 7. They are harnessed by products like solar panels and wind turbines which are then converted into more usable energy sources like electricity. 8. They are cleaner and more environmentally safe & beneficial that traditional types. 9. Nonrenewable resources are those that can be exhausted, or cannot be replenished as quickly as they are consume. They take geological eras to develop and come from deep layers of the Earth. 10. Examples of nonrenewable resources are petroleum, uranium, natural gas, coal, and mineral resources. 11. Nonrenewable resources fuel the majority of the planet’s energy needs. 12. a)Deforestation refers to logging activities that wipe out large areas of forests which contributes to pollution and endangers animal habitats. It also leads to the extinction of forests and animal species. B)Burning fossil fuels, which is how most factories, homes, and cars are powered, release harmful amounts of greenhouse gases into the air. c)Extraction of nonrenewable resources such as open-pit mining, leaves large craters on the Earth’s surface. Not only does this take away the beauty of the environment, but also destroys the habitats of entire ecosystems. 13. Because they are relatively inexpensive and profitable for developers. 14. a) because fuel prices are rising, b) growing concerns about environmental impact, and c) growing political concerns about oil suppliers. 15. Solar, wind, hydroelectric, biomass, and geothermal. 16. Coal, oil, natural gas. 17. An unending availability and less environmental impact such as pollution. 18. Advantages of solar energy are: a)the sun is a vast & continuous source of energy, b) solar panels require little maintenance because they have no moving parts c) it does not create pollution or solid waste. 19. Disadvantages of solar energy are: Production of solar panels uses toxic chemicals, to implement solar power is expensive, the panels are expensive, the panels require a lot of space, and can be unreliable as the sun is not always out so an alternative source of power is needed. 20. Advantages of wind energy are that newer wind turbines convert the force of moving air into electricity and could supply 20% of the energy needs of the U.S. This would make it the cheapest form of energy available. Wind energy doesn’t pollute or produce solid waste. 21. The disadvantages of wind energy are that moving part can be fatal to birds, be hazardous to people working with them, is expensive to move the captured wind energy, are noisy, and are ugly. 22. Hydropower/Hydroelectric power is the harnessing of the power of moving water to create electricity. 23. Advantages of hydropower are that it is as dependable as the flow of the water source that powers it, clean, and domestically available. 24. Disadvantages of hydropower are that the construction process of building dams is very destructive to the environment because of their size and damming rivers negatively affect fish and ecosystems in the waterway. 25. Biomass is created from trees and plants and is used to make ethanol, diesel, and other organic fuels. It includes crops and plant waste (plants left after the vegetables have been harvested) and the methane gas produced from decomposition. Ex: lighting a fire, crop cultivation specifically for energy, and the use of crop waste like corn stalks, leaves, and husks. 26. Geothermal energy is the heat stored inside the earth. Sources of it are earth’s sun-heated crust, hot springs, and steam reservoirs (geysers). 27. Geothermal energy could be used on a wide scale to fuel heat pumps to heat/cool homes and to allow large utilities to tap the source of the energy to generate electricity. 28. The advantages of using renewable energy is that a) they are renewed as they are consumed so we don’t run out of them, b) as the population grows, energy is used at an ever increasing rate and amount which makes renewable sources even more important because they don’t vanish forever like nonrenewable resources. 29. Burning fossil fuels (nonrenewable resources) pollute the environment with greenhouse gases (primarily carbon dioxide). The term “carbon footprint” refers to the volume of greenhouse gases given off by our everyday activities. Burning nonrenewable resources leaves a large carbon footprint, whereas renewable resources have an environmental advantage because they leave a much lower carbon footprint as they do not emit greenhouse gases. 30. Economic advantages of renewable resources are a) new economic opportunities in rural areas outside of cities because renewable energy resources occur in rural areas and b) the construction of facilities to harness renewable energy resources provides jobs. 31. A drawback of renewable energy is that it is not as reliable as energy from nonrenewable resources because renewable resources are not constantly available. Nature dictates when it’s windy or sunny, and without wind to turn turbines or solar panels to gather solar energy, electricity can’t be generated. 32. Solutions to the unreliability of renewable energy sources are to diversify across renewable energy sources. If solar panels are built next to wind turbines and hydroelectric dams, a consistent flow of energy can be generated. 33. It requires additional investment and increases the costs of using renewable energy resources. 34. Because building the facilities to start using a new type of energy costs a lot, the cost of renewable energies are higher than that of nonrenewable energies. 35. Hydroelectric dams require billions of dollars to construct, and solar panels are expensive to produce in large quantities. 36. Because as these technologies become more widely used, they will be made more efficient and the costs associated with their use will fall. 37. Advantages: cheaper, cleaner power. Disadvantages: Expensive to build, disruption of river ecosystems and wildlife, change the flow of the river 38. Hydroelectric dams must be built in suitable waterways. Tidal power generators must be built out at sea. Solar panels must be placed in sunny regions. 39. Generators that use renewable energy sources are built far from the cities where the power will be consumed. 40. Transporting electricity across great distances is costly & inefficient. Power lines & converters are expensive to construct & transporting electricity results in a loss of power proportional to the distance traveled. 41. Advantages that power plants using fossil fuels (nonrenewable) have over those using renewable resources are that they can be built almost anywhere power is needed and can generally use existing infrastructure to transport electricity to cities needing power. 42. They are cheaper to harness and easier to access. 43. Pollution, the possibility that these pollutants are contributing to global warming, and conserving them for posterity. 44. Wind turbines make a lot of noise and both wind farms and solar panels use a lot of land and detract from the natural beauty of the environment. 45. The problems of question 44 can be mitigated by placing panels and turbines in less densely populated areas of the countries. However, the drawback of this solution is that it will increase the cost of transporting the generated power to the cities that need it. It will also decrease the efficiency of the power as it is transported.