Alternative Energy Research Paper

Words: 1828
Pages: 8

Prof. C
Comp. 1-Research Paper
7 Nov. 2008 Within the next few years, one can expect to see a vast change in the way that mankind harnesses energy. Alternative fuels will play a colossal role in what has become one of our generation’s largest challenges, limited supplies of fossil fuels. Scientists have been working for years to develop alternative methods to power the globe given that materials such as coal and oil are not renewable resources. Once they are used up, they are gone forever. New forms of energy have to be developed but what other sources are there and where will each work best? With fuel prices increasing every year and the theory that CO2 emissions from coal and petroleum products are heating up the globe,
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In the United States alone, more than 10,000 families get all of their electricity from the sun (Energy Kids Page). Silicon from just one ton of sand, used in photovoltaic cells, could produce as much electricity as burning 500,000 tons of coal (Energy Kids Page). The downside to solar energy however, is that it is quite expensive to make a lot of electricity using photovoltaic’s. A lot of open land is also required to have enough cells to make a substantial amount of energy. For this reason, there are few big power plants in the United States, most of them located in California. Biomass energy is another energy resource that we could begin to see more of in the years to come. Biomass is a term for natural energy. When Biomass is burned, it releases heat, this heat creates energy (Biomass Energy). If you’ve ever camped out in the back yard and had a campfire going, the action of burning logs was creating biomass energy. Biomass energy is the burning of natural materials such as trees, and plants to create heat, and then electricity (Biomass Energy). Waste products, such as trash can also be burned to create biomass energy. Biomass energy just so happens to be the most common form of renewable energy being used in the United States today. We create enough energy through the burning of biomass materials here in the United States to power over two million homes (Biomass Energy). In Iowa, some farms are