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  • Hey There! Welcome To Life Noggin!

  • With temperatures rising, forests being destroyed and oceans polluted, we need a clean energy source that wont cause more damage to our fragile planet.

  • As you probably know, there is a lot of debate on which energy source is the best.

  • The perfect energy source would be efficient, safe, cheap, clean, and there'd be lots of it.

  • So, using those criteria, let's take a look at some of the commonly used energy sources to see how they all stack up.

  • The most recent data available from the US ENERGY ADMINISTRATION reports that of all the energy used around the globe in 2017, 33% came from petroleum, 27% from coal, 23% from natural gas. 13% from renewables and 4% from nuclear fission.

  • Non-renewables like natural gas and coal release crazy amounts of greenhouse gases and pollutants, so in terms of cleanliness, they're out.

  • Nuclear produces radioactive material, which we definitely don't want.

  • After looking at renewables, hydroelectric and wind power are the cleanest sources of energy, producing very little to no emissions or impact on the environment.

  • We also want an energy source that won't break the bank.

  • Wind is in the lead here too, costing just $45 per megawatt-hour, with natural gas coming in at $87, coal $102, and nuclear $172.

  • While rooftop solar panels aren't very cost-effective, energy from large-scale, utility panels now only costs about $60 per megawatt-hour.

  • So, not bad!

  • The sun is pretty much screaming at us with energy, so we have to figure something out.

  • Energy source efficiency is commonly measured using something called heat rate, which factors in the amount of fuel needed to generate power.

  • Since non-renewables like coal, petroleum, nuclear and natural gas are using finite resources, this efficiency is pretty important.

  • Of those, natural gas is, by far, the least efficient, with petroleum, nuclear and coal all being pretty equal.

  • When it comes to renewables, there unfortunately isn't one measurement that allows us to compare their efficiencies since their power comes from different sources.

  • What about safety?

  • Each energy source has its own hazards.

  • Non-renewable plants have big risks like oil rig explosions or mine collapses, but renewables have their own dangers too.

  • Solar workers are exposed to carcinogens.

  • Biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel are highly reactive and combustible.

  • Geothermal workers inhale deadly particles.

  • And while wind turbines are subject to collapsing and natural events like lightning strikes and fires, it appears that wind is the safest.

  • Then, there's the importance of availability.

  • Natural gas, petroleum and coal will run out.

  • And there isn't always wind, sun or rain.

  • But, nuclear power industries are currently exploring whether extracting uranium from seawater could result in a virtually limitless supply of nuclear energy.

  • There's also some promising tech on the horizon for the availability and longevity of renewables too.

  • Lithium-ion batteries.

  • They've got a long lifespan, can hold crazy amounts of energy, and their cost is dropping.

  • So pairing these with renewable energy generators across the world could make clean energy even more tempting.

  • It seems to me that wind energy is our best option.

  • We'll just need to learn to live with those ugly wind turbines, which is a small price to pay, for you know, humans living longer.

  • Would you be on board for a wind-powered world? Do you think solar is the way to go?

  • Let us know in the comment section below, or tell us, what should we talk about next?

  • Let's say we do have to get off this planet, how could we create our very own?

  • Check out this video!

  • We'd want it to be in the habitable zone. Meaning the planet should have an orbit the right distance from it's star, to insure optimal temperatures and most importantly, liquid water.

  • As always, my name is Blocko! This has been Life Noggin!

  • Don't forget to keep on thinking!

Hey There! Welcome To Life Noggin!

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B1 US energy renewables natural gas nuclear coal wind

Could We Make The Perfect Energy Source?

  • 114 6
    angela770911 posted on 2018/08/14
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