Advantages and Disadvantages of Renewable Fuels Solar Energy: Advantages: -Energy is free although there is a building cost. -Causes no pollution, however, energy may go into machines that produce pollution. – Solar energy can be used in remote areas where it is too expensive to extend the electricity power grid. -Estimated that the worlds oil reserves will last for 30-40 years whereas solar energy is infinite.
Disadvantages: -Solar energy can only be harnessed when it is daytime and sunny. -Solar panels are quite expensive to manufacture and buy. Solar power stations to collect energy but they will not match output of other power tations, expensive and difficult. -Relies on the climate, in the UK won’t be as effective due to cloudy skies and little sun. -Energy produced isn’t very much and is not effective as other fuels.
Wind Energy: -The wind is free and with modern technology it can be captured efficiently. -Once a wind turbine is built the energy it produces does not cause green house gases or other pollutants. – Although wind turbines can be very tall each takes up only a small plot of land. This means that the land below can still be used.This is especially the case in agricultural areas as farming can still continue.
Many people find wind farms an interesting feature of the landscape, although opinions contrast. -Remote areas that are not connected to the electricity power grid can use wind turbines to produce their own supply. -The strength of the wind is not constant and it varies from zero to storm force. This means that wind turbines do not produce the same amount of electricity all the time. There will be times when they produce no electricity at all. -Many people feel that the countryside should be left untouched, without these large structures being built.The andscape should left in its natural form for everyone to enjoy. -Noise pollution – car travelling at 70 mph.
-V. expensive to manufacture and produce. -A lot of turbines needed to be cost effective. Hydroelectric Power (HEP) -Once a dam is constructed, electricity can be produced at a constant rate. -If electricity is not needed, the gates can be shut, stopping electricity generation. The water can be saved for use another time when electricity demand is high. -Dams are designed to last many decades and so can contribute to the generation of electricity for many years / decades.The lake’s water can be used for irrigation purposes.
-When in use, electricity produced by dam systems do not produce green house gases. They do not pollute the atmosphere. -Dams can be used to control floods and prevent mass flooding. -Dams are extremely expensive to build and must be built to a very high standard. – The high cost of dam construction means that they must operate for many decades to become profitable.
-The flooding of large areas of land means that the natural environment is destroyed. -People living in villages and towns that are in the valley to be flooded, must move out.This means that they lose their farms and businesses.
In some countries, people are forcibly removed so that hydro-power schemes can go ahead. -Physically ‘ugly in some people’s eyes. Geothermal: -Geothermal energy is environmental friendly and no fossil fuels involved. -Constant supply of energy from the surface of the earth’s heat. -Low maintenance and reliable construction of power generators.
-Large space for piping system -Area specific, most countries will not have warm parts of earth or volcanic regions. – Can produce harmful gases like a release of hydrogen sulfide.