Energy is an important part of our everyday lives. Energy can come in many different types, and forms it can be used for many different purposes. Energy has many different usages and can be converted from one form of usage to another form of usage depending on what the need is. In everyday life we rely on various forms of energy to do various things.
A source of energy used in my home is natural gas. Natural gas is the most popular source of energy used in homes across the United States. Just getting up in the morning to take a warm shower is using energy. Natural gas enables our water to warm up. This gas is flammable and consists of methane and other hydrocarbons. It occurs naturally underground and is used as fuel. Natural gas is a non-renewable energy source. According to www.enerygy4me, “Energy from the ground that has limited supplies, either in the form of gas, liquid or solid, are called nonrenewable resources. They cannot be replenished, or made again, in a short period of time. Examples include: oil (petroleum), natural gas, coal and uranium (nuclear). Oil, natural gas and coal are called “fossil fuels” because they have been formed from the organic remains of prehistoric plants and animals.”
Electricity is very commonly used in my house hold. With microwaves, televisions, radios, waffle irons, crockpots and toasters being used on a consistent basis. Electricity also powers our light bulbs, air conditioners and humidifiers. The great power of electricity! It surrounds us and can be used in thousands of different ways. Electricity is a secondary energy source, and according to www.energy4me “Secondary Energy is energy that is converted from primary sources are secondary sources of energy. Secondary sources of energy are used to store, move, and deliver energy in an easily usable form. Examples include electricity and hydrogen.” Consumer’s is one of the largest providers for energy in the United States. It serves nearly 6.5 million users in Michigan. In my place of residence Consumer’s is the only company available for power. Consumer’s is dedicated to investing over 6 billion dollars over the next five years to significant investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, environmental and customer service enhancements, and new power generation. (Our Company, 2012) Right now only 5 percent of electricity that is provided to customers comes from renewable energy. Consumer’s is building the Lake’s Wind Energy Park. This park is expected to generate 100 megawatts of energy. It will cover over 30 square miles and have 56 wind turbines. They are also building the Cross Winds Energy Park. This will generate 350 megawatts of energy and will have 140-230 wind turbines. (Fact Sheet, 2012) There are 13 hydroelectric plants and 1.6 billion dollars is being used to update emission control on existing coal fired power plants. Michigan has the largest supply of natural gas in the United States. Is natural gas a good form of energy? According to the Discovery Channel “Natural gas is often praised as a clean energy alternative. It burns more cleanly than other fossil fuels, emitting lower levels of harmful emissions such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxides. It produces less greenhouse gases than other fossil fuels do. It doesn't produce ash or particulates that cause health problems. It's not as clean as renewable energy sources such as wind or solar, but because it's abundant, relatively inexpensive and easy to use, many consider it a stop-gap measure as society makes the transition to other energy sources.” (Brinson, 2012) All of these are advantages of the use of natural gas. What about the disadvantages? Critics claim that a large amount of methane escapes when you burn natural gas. There is also the controversy over fracking. This is where water is forced underground to break up shale rock. It is said to pollute water supplies and emits more methane. (Brinson, 2012)