Although energy is vital to life, it cannot be felt, seen, or heard. Energy is transformed from one form of energy to another. Energy is what allows us to operate our homes and businesses.
There are many forms of energy. These include light energy, heat energy, mechanical energy, and gravitational energy. Potential Energy and Kinetic Energy are the two main forms of energy.
Kinetic energy refers to the energy that is used to move objects. For example, wind energy uses kinetic energy, where molecules of gas in the air are able to move and give it kinetic energy. Potential energy refers to any energy form that has potential for future use. For example, water is stored in a dam to generate hydroelectricity or solar energy stored in batteries.
The First Law of Thermodynamics says that energy can’t be created or destroyed. However, it can be transferred from one place to another and converted into and from other forms.
Alternative energy is energy produced from other sources than fossil fuel. Renewable energy refers to any energy source that does not consume finite resources and can quickly and easily replenish.
Only a tiny fraction of the world’s energy comes from renewable and alternative sources. These energies are derived from the Sun’s energy. They come in many forms, including Photovoltaics, Solar Thermal, Wind, Hydro, Tidal, and Bioenergy, including Biomass, Biogas, and Biofuels.
The increase in energy consumption over the past 100 years has significantly improved our standard of living. Energy is essential for almost everything we do in our homes. Energy is essential for modern living and convenience. Energy is essential for most daily tasks.
There are three main categories of energy we use every day: food that gives us energy; energy that makes our house a home; and fuel that we put in our cars. Our bodies use glucose to fuel our muscles. The foods we eat are digested into glucose. Coal, gas, and oil are the main energy sources in our homes. Oil is also a major energy source in our cars, but it will eventually run out. The other problem is that carbon dioxide, a byproduct of burning fossil fuels, accumulates in Earth’s atmosphere.
The most basic form of energy is residential energy. You can watch your favourite TV show, wash your clothes, take a hot shower and use your computer to play games or cook. Nearly forty per cent of all energy consumed worldwide is used for residential purposes.
Waste is also a part of residential use. This is because the public is not given enough information on conserving energy. Many products can help reduce energy consumption. However, most people don’t know about the available options, such as home energy monitoring systems from companies like Lutron Electronics, Inc.
In the last fifteen years, the amount of energy used in the home has varied. Over half of residential energy was used for cooling and heating. This has been the case for decades. This fell from 60% in 1993 to 48% in 2009. This is due to the increased energy required for electronics, lighting and appliances. It has gone up from 24% to 35%. This can be attributed to the increased size of television sets and high-tech appliances. Additionally, homes in the United States built after 1990 are 27% larger than those built during earlier decades. This adds to their cost.
Energy is used to light commercial buildings and other spaces. Businesses and companies use power to run computers, fax machines and other equipment. Industries and manufacturing heavily rely on natural gas (30%) and petroleum (26%), with electricity (10%) and coal, renewables, and biofuels the remainder. The next 25 years will see an increase in industrial energy needs by 31%. They will account for 38% of all U.S. consumption. This may be due to some former overseas manufacturing plants returning to the United States.
Transportation is a hundred per cent dependent upon energy. It consumes more than seventy per cent the petroleum. Transport includes all vehicles, from personal cars to trucks, buses, motorcycles, and even ships. Transport is key to energy conservation. Innovative ideas such as introducing more fuel-efficient electric vehicles can greatly reduce energy consumption.
It is common to find a compromise between speed, energy consumption, and the expected economic return. High-value goods and passengers are often transported using fast but more expensive modes of transport. This is because high-value goods tend to be high speed; therefore, they consume more energy.
To achieve economies of scale, we tend to move slower to reduce the energy required per unit of mass transport. This is similar to maritime transport. Airfreight, connected to high-speed services, has a relatively high energy consumption level.
We have other options because electricity is the majority of our power source. Solar panels or wind power can produce electricity. To generate heat, we can burn trash. Instead of using fossil fuels, we can grow energy crops (biomass) to burn in our power plants. Geothermal energy can also be harnessed within the Earth. These energy sources are called renewable energy because they can last as long as the Sun shines. An array of solar panels covering just 1% could provide enough electricity to power the entire planet.
We have huge energy reserves that can meet our future energy needs. Many of these resources are not available at affordable prices, like solar energy, and are unevenly distributed worldwide, as with oil. Technology can make an energy source more competitive. Even if they are far away from their intended destinations, transportation can help transport other energy sources to power our lives.

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