The Energy Crisis

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade July 2001

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The world's population relies today on many different forms of energy, but particularly on the energy produced from burning fossil fuels (mainly coal, oil, and natural gas), which currently provide about 80 percent of the world's energy. Reserves of fossil fuels are currently sufficient for our needs, but they are being used up rapidly and cannot be replaced. Future demand for energy is expected to become much greater, as developing countries increase their energy consumption in line with industrialized countries. This has led to the fear of an energy crisis. The solution is likely to involve finding alternative sources of energy that never run out and, at the same time, drastically reducing our energy consumption.

There are two main kinds of energy; non-renewable and renewable. Non-renewable energy can't be replaced once they are used up. Renewable can't be exhausted and are non-polluting. Two main advantages of non-renewable sources is that they have a high energy density and their ready availability to meet demands.

An important advantage of renewable resources it that they are non-exhausted. The report covers examples of non-renewable energy (nuclear energy), and renewable energy (solar, wind, wave, tidal & hydroelectric, and geothermal energy).

Nuclear Energy, a non-renewable energy source, is energy released during the splitting or fusing of atomic nuclei. The energy of any system, whether physical, chemical, or nuclear, is manifested by its ability to do work or to release heat or radiation. The atom consists of a small, massive, positively charged core (nucleus) surrounded by electrons. The nucleus, containing most of the mass of the atom, is itself composed of neutrons and protons bound together by very strong nuclear forces, much greater than the electrical forces that bind the electrons to the nucleus.

Nuclear energy, measured in millions of electron volts (MeV), is...