In the world, there exist different forms of energy that are categorized into two groups that include the fossil fuels and non-fossil fuels. Technological advancement has played a key role in determining the form of energy a particular country depends on. Developed countries such as the U.S., Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and China among others prefer forms of energies that are less harmful to the environment.
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For instance, United Nation prefers fossil fuels to non-fossil fuels because they are cheaper, readily available and reliable sources of energy. On other hand, developing countries such as those of Africa use non-fossil fuels as their major source of energy.
Several scholars have defined energy as the capacity of any system to perform a duty or work which actually it is true. The purpose of this study is explain how people can convert energy from one form to another by giving specific examples, to define fossil fuels and finally to discuss two different alternatives to fossils fuels (Ollhoff, 2010).
How energy can be converted from one form to another
Energy as mentioned in the study is a vital component in people lives because all the human activities involve the use of energy. The change of energy from one form to another is what known as energy conversion and it involves the change of energy from potential to kinetic energy forms. A good example is in fuels whereby chemical energy is changed into heat energy.
Another example is the food that people eat in order to sustain their lives. Such foods contain chemical energy that when people eat food, the energy is converted into mechanical energy that brings about muscles movement. This process is known as respiration process and it only happens when people eat food. In addition to ease digestion, the food need to be broken down into tiny particles a process that result to generation of heat energy (thermal) that keeps our body warm.
Another good example is light bulb that involves the conversion of electric energy to light energy and heat energy as a resultant of heating the filament wire. The light emitted during the process led to generation of heat energy in the surrounding.
Finally, we witness conversion of kinetic energy into potential energy when a system is lifted to a higher level and while at this elevated level, this energy is momentarily transformed into a unique transitory form of energy called mechanical energy. Conversely, when this weight is allowed to fall freely, this energy is again converted into kinetic energy.
Definition of fossil fuels and why they are an attractive source of energy
Fossil fuels refer to hydrocarbons that are gotten from remains of plants, ancient things and animals. Examples of fossil fuels include the natural gas, oil and coal that are considered as non-renewable sources of power (energy). Many nations in the world depend on fossil fuels as their source of power. Fossil fuels are considered as an attractive source of power because they are made from materials that are readily available.
For instance, many countries prefer using fossil fuels as opposed to other forms of fuels because coal and natural gas are in plenty meaning that the power plants will be in a position of supplying more power in the country. Another reason as why fossil fuels are an attractive source of energy because they are easily distributed and are cost effective (inexpensive) compared to non-fossil fuels.
Example of two different energy alternatives to fossil fuels and their comparison with fossils based on their advantages and disadvantages
Non-fossil fuels are considered as alternatives to fossil fuels and they include solar energy, wind energy, hydroelectric energy and tidal energy among others. All these sources of power are considered as being renewable energies because they are gotten from sources that will remain for ever as long as people are living.
The most widely used non-fossil fuels are the solar energy and wind energy because they are harnessed from sun and wind that are available in large quantities compared to natural gas and coal which are fossil fuels (Neville, 1995). They are considered the best option because environmentally-friendly because the process involves utilization of clean natural sources. In the United States, the amount of wind prevailing in the country each year can produce 17 billion GJ of electricity which is more than half times the amount of electricity consumed in the country.
On the other hand coal can produce 7billion GJ of electricity meaning that non-fossil fuels produce more energy than fossil fuels. The only disadvantage of non-fossil fuels is that they are expensive for instance take the amount of resource needed make solar panels and turbines. They are capital intensive and therefore expensive for most people. Fossil fuels on other hand are disadvantageous in that they pollute our environment.
They are considered as the major contributors of the global worming that affects people lives in the world. Finally, another shortcoming of fossil fuel is that they are exhaustible. It has been predicted that they will be exhausted in the near future and that is why scientists have been forced to look for alternatives.
A good alternative for fossil fuel is hydroelectric power that entails harvesting the kinetic energy of running water to rotate turbines in order to generate electricity. Wind power involves taking advantage of speeding wind to rotate fan-like turbines to generate energy (Khan, 2009).
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The study is interesting in that it explores the concept of fossil fuels therefore enabling the reader to understand the different forms of energy contained in the fossil fuels. Through the study the reader is able to understand the reason why many nations depend on fossil fuels more than non-fossil fuels.
The study has highlighted solar energy and wind energy as important alternatives to fossil fuels because they are readily available in the world though they are expensive compared to both coal and natural gas that are non-renewable.
Khan, B.H. (2009). Non-conventional energy resources. London: Tata McGraw-Hill Education.
Neville, R. (1995). Solar energy conversion: The solar cell. New York, NY: Elsevier.
Ollhoff, J. (2010). Solar power: Future energy. New York, NY: Abdo Pub Co.