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Question

Why are alternate sources of energy important?


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Solution

Energy resources:

Based on the availability of energy in nature, energy resources are classified as natural or renewable resources and non-renewable resources. Renewable energy is energy derived from natural resources. They replenish themselves. Whereas non-renewable energy resources are formed by fossils that were buried under the earth's crust thousands of years ago.

  1. These resources – such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, biomass, and thermal energy stored in the earth’s crust are examples of alternate sources. They cause little climate or environmental damage.
  2. Fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas on the contrary are available in finite quantities only. As the rate of usage of these resources increases the rate of depletion also increases.
Difference between Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources

Explanation:

Alternate energy sources are derived from natural resources, they are known as renewable energy sources. They have a lot of advantages over non-renewable energy sources that are depleting with time and use. The importance of the usage of alternate energy sources is as follows.

  1. The use of alternate energy sources results in little to no emissions, even when considering the full life cycle of the technologies. Hence the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the environment, hence air pollution can be considerably reduced.
  2. As resources like solar energy, and wind energy are naturally available in all tropical areas, energy units can be locally built at a low cost, and also distribution costs will be less. This creates local job opportunities and hence helps in community development.
  3. The sources can replace the use of polluting oil and gases in all energy sectors. Hydrogen energy is a very promising source that can meet the needs of high-heat intensive industrial processes in steel and chemical industries.
  4. The sources can be easily used in buildings. For instance, solar thermal water heaters, biomass boilers, heat pumps, and natural cooling create thermal comfort in buildings.
  5. In transportation, sustainable biofuels, and high-percentage bio-fuel blends promote energy efficiency and conservation by reducing overall fuel demand.

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