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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!
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Could We Make The Perfect Energy Source?

201 Folder Collection
angela770911 published on August 14, 2018    Jerry Liu translated    Emily reviewed
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