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April 26, 2015

Homework Help: Geography

Posted by y912f on Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 5:32pm.

question:
Compare and contrast the various sources of energy.

answer:
There are various sources of energy, which modern industrial countries use to light cities, power cars and airplanes, and run computers and other electrical machines. The main energy sources for all these tasks are nonrenewable fossil fuels. Most modern countries depend heavily on fossil fuels, including the United States. However, only a handful of nations have sufficient supplies to meet their needs. Oil and natural gas are very unevenly scattered around the world and most of the world’s oil supply is located in only a few countries, mostly in Southwest Asia. Reserves of natural gas are also limited. Luckily, coal deposits are larger and more widely distributed than oil reserves and are thought to be enough for at least two hundred years. On the down side, coal also has its drawbacks such as the fact that burning coal can create air pollution such as acid rain.
The splitting of uranium atoms in a nuclear reactor to release their stored energy produces nuclear energy, now used by many countries. The drawbacks of nuclear energy are leaks, explosions, and the disposal of radioactive wastes that can remain toxic for thousands of years.
Other energy sources include waterpower, which is an ancient source of energy and uses the energy of falling water to move machinery to generate electricity. Geothermal energy, used in areas with volcanic activity, is energy that comes from earth’s internal heat. Lastly, solar energy is energy that is produced by the sun. Solar energy is potentially the greatest renewable energy source.

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