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Maggie's Portfolio

Energy Presentation

Intro –

           

            We represent the State Government. We’ve taken the libery of looking into solar, battery, nuclear, and petroleum energy sources. We’ve discovered both positive and negative details for each, and have decided on which benefits the people of our state the most.

 

Solar Energy –

 

            Solar energy is very efficient. The source of solar energy, the sun, sends more energy in an hour than humans use in a year. The use of solar power grids or panels to capture energy and use it in factories or homes is slowly spreading around the country. It can be used anywhere on earth as long as there is sun. It does not release any chemicals into the atmosphere, and therefore is environmentally safe. The major downside of solar energy is its cost. To build a residential solar energy system in a home costs about $8,000 to $12,000 dollars. There are new local solar energy providers that can produce about 1,800 Killowatt hours a year for an area the size of Southern California. A sloar energy provider usually costs about $144 million dollars to build, and it would only satisfy about 25% of each homes needs. Solar energy is clearly not a good option for both consumers and manufacturers.

 

Battery Energy –

           

            Batteries are an important source of energy. They are used in everything from a child’s toy, to a backup power for hospitals. There are many different types of batteries depending on their usage, which is another advantage. They are a portable source of energy that is stored in a tight compartment and can be used at any time. They are safe and easy to use, and they are very cheap. Their only flaw is their efficiency and their biodegradability. Batteries are the most ineffiecient source of energy. The ideal battery should have quick recharge capability, long life cycle, low cost, recycle ability, high energy, and the ability to work in extreme cold or heat. There is no battery made that can meet all these criteria. Batteries are not environmentally safe. Although they biodegrade in a few years, one substance in them does not – lead. More than 70% of all batteries contain some form of lead. When a battery no longer works they are thrown away and carried off to a landfill. After several years, lead is the substance that remains in the soil, and can cause severe lead poisoning to anyone who has contact with it. Batteries are not environmentally safe, and are very inefficient; therefore it is not a good option for a primary source of energy.

 

Nuclear Energy –

 

            Nuclear energy is extremely efficient. Just an atom of uranium can produce 10 million times more energy than an atom of carbon in coal. Studies from the Nuclear Energy Institute show that there is enough uranium and plutonium on earth to provide power for a few million years! Although Nuclear power plants are not cheap to build, this is evened out by the fact that building just one power plant creates thousands of jobs for the economy. However, nuclear energy has many issues, the main one being its safety.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission actually admitted that the chances of a small radioactive explosion were roughly 50%. Such an explosion would cause thousands of deaths and long-term illnesses such as radiation sickness and cancer. Even without the explosion, there are high percents of diagnosed cancer in areas around existing power plants. The fuel rods are the main source in a nuclear plant, and contain millions of pellets of uranium oxide. A neutron is added, and the chemical reaction continues until most of the uranium has reacted and produced heat. Thus, the wastes of the power plant are the fuel rods. The best way to handle these rods is to reprocess them, taking out almost all of the radiation. The United States currently is not reprocessing their used fuel rods. Nuclear energy may very well become the next primary energy source, but not until something can be don’t about its safety issues.

 

Petroleum Energy –

 

            Petroleum is considered the Black Gold. There are more advantages to oil than disadvantages. It’s a pretty efficient source of energy that’s easy to transport and use. Petroleum oil can be refined to many form, such as gasoline, kerosene, and diesel fuel. It has been used for thousands of years, and today is still the primary energy source. Though the cost per gallon of gasoline is very prone to high climbs, it is still the cheapest source of energy. It is relatively safe to use. It’s only flaw is the chemicals it releases into the atmosphere, known as greenhouse gases, causing global warming. Petroleum in its many forms is used to make nearly everything, including the parts needed to make other energy sources available. Aluminum is melted and shaped to form the grids and panels for solar energy. The same goes for batteries and nuclear power plants. Every factory that makes nay product uses petroleum gas to operate their heavy machinery. Electricity is available from electric companies because they use petroleum oil to produce it. The Black Gold will continue to be a primary source for energy for many years to come. Thus, the government’s choice is Petroleum oil.

 

Copyright (C). 2005. Maggie Escobedo. All Rights Reserved.