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Energy Resources
What is energy? (Definition)
• Energy is the ability to do work.
• It makes things change and move.
Potential Energy
• Stored energy that has the ability but
is not yet in use.
• The energy of position or of
molecules that have not reacted.
• Forms include:
– Chemical (in the bonds of atoms)
– Nuclear (energy in a nucleus of an atom
and is released when that atom is split)
– Gravitational (energy at the top of
something before it starts to fall)
Kinetic Energy
• Energy in motion.
• It is the movement of waves, atoms,
electrons, objects, and substances.
• Includes:
– Electrical
– Radiant (light from sun)
– Thermal (heat)
– Motion (movement of objects)
– Sound (energy that we hear)
What energy types are available to use
for Americans to use to power homes,
cars, and businesses?
Natural gas
Nuclear (Uranium)
• Most controversial energy resource
• One of the newest form of alternative
energy resources. Scientists didn’t begin
to harness it until mid 20th century.
• Provides 20% of electricity in the U.S.
• Major concern is how to store the used
nuclear waste.
• It takes 10 years for nuclear waste to lose
90% of it’s radioactivity.
• Uranium must split its atom for the
energy to be released. Once it is
released, it gives off a large amount
of heat for many years.
• Uranium is nonrenewable and Earth
has a finite (limited) amount in its
• The heat is used to boil water and
produce steam. The steam turns a
turbine which produces electricity.
• Fossil Fuel used to heat some
homes, operate cooking grills.
• Nonrenewable
• Discovered in early 20th century
• ¾ of all propane used is by industry.
– Fueling for cutting torches.
– Heaters for construction workers
– Heat asphalt for highway construction
– Used to run fork-lift trucks in factories.
• Homes in Rural areas depend on
propane the most and consume
25.7% of all propane.
• 40% of farms in America rely on
propane to heat greenhouses and
chicken coops, power tractors and
dry crops.
Natural Gas
• Nonrenewable fossil fuel found in
rocky layers.
• U.S.’s second largest energy supplier
after petroleum.
• Top five natural gas producing states:
#1 Texas, #2 Wyoming, #3 Louisiana,
#4 Oklahoma, #5 Colorado.
• Industry consumes the most natural
gas at 32.9%. Electricity uses 30.5% of
natural gas, and homes use 20.5%.
• Is a nonrenewable fossil fuel.
• Often called crude oil.
• Must be drilled from deep below the
Earth’s surface.
• Transportation consume 71.3% of all
petroleum in the U.S.
• 1/3 of all oil comes from offshore oil
• Petroleum is also used in plastics,
crayons, personal care items.
• 40% of oil is supplied by the U.S. and
comes from (in order of greatest supplier)
Texas (TX)
Alaska (AK)
California (CA)
North Dakota (ND)
Oklahoma (OK)
• The remainder 60% comes from
foreign countries:
– Canada, Latin America, Middle East
Major trade-off of petroleum: Carbon
dioxide pollution from burning in
our cars and trucks.
• Any organic matter (something that
was once alive).
• Historically this is the resource that
has been around the longest. (Burning
and cook food)
• The energy originates from the Sun.
• Until mid 1800’s wood provided 90% of
all energy for Americans.
– (Now replaced by Coal, natural gas, petroleum )
U.S. Sources of Biomass
•Wood & Wood Waste
•Garbage & Landfill
U.S. Biomass
Consumption by Sector
•Industrial – 51.9%
•Transportation – 25.6%
•Residential – 9.8%
•Commercial – 2.5%
•Electricity – 10.2%
• Renewable resource
• Comes from the heat of the earth’s
• Used to heat homes and water
• Geothermal does very little damage to
the environment.
It does not require transportation.
• Produce no pollution because it does
not burn fuel to generate electricity.
• Renewable energy from the power of
moving water.
• Depends on the gravitation potential
energy of the dam to “turn a
• Used originally as a water wheel.
• First hydropower power plant was
built in 1882 in Appleton. Wisconsin.
• There are 84,000 dams in U.S. but
only 2,220 have equipment to
generate electricity.
• Top 5 Hydropower producing states:
1. Washington
2. California
3. Oregon
4. New York
5. Montana
• Hydropower generates between 5-10% of
the U.S. power (depending on rainfall for the
• Globally hydropower provides 17% of the
world’s electricity.
• It is cheap energy to generate and creates
no pollution.
• To build a dam is the expensive part of the
• Solar is renewable and comes directly
from the sun.
• Produces zero pollution when collected.
• Cost’s $.10-.20 to produce electricity.
• Once a panel is installed, the cost of
electricity from the sun is FREE.
• The lifetime of solar panels (photovoltaic
panels) on average ranges between 20-25
• Disadvantage - Solar energy is directly
dependent on weather conditions
Top five country using solar power
United States
• Price of solar panel per square foot
– $1.94 in 2009
– $2.90 in 1990
Square feet need to power home on solar
energy ONLY – 600 sq ft
1. California: 47 percent with 971 megawatts
2. New Jersey: 14 percent with 293 MW
3. Colorado: 5 percent with 108 MW
4. Arizona: 5 percent with 101 MW
5. Nevada: 5 percent with 97 MW
6. Florida: 4 percent with 73 MW
7. New York: 3 percent with 54 MW
8. Pennsylvania: 3 percent with 54 MW
9. New Mexico: 2 percent with 45 MW
10. North Carolina: 2 percent with 42 MW
Air in motion (kinetic energy)
Renewable energy
Abundant in supply in the U.S.
Windmills (in various sizes) can be put
• Wind is inconsistent because not every
location has constant wind.
• Cost is $.02-.06 per kilowatt hour
• Wind farms generate 20-30 times more
energy than they consume. They are
extremely energy efficient.
Top wind producing states
1. Texas,
2. Iowa,
3. California,
4. Minnesota,
5. Washington,