Electricity is an important part of our lives. When you get up in the morning do you make toast? Do you have a shower? Do you watch TV? Electricity makes all of this possible and our lives would be very different without it. But have you ever wondered how electricity is made?
The earth has ‘finite’ carbon based resources called fossil fuels. Finite means that when we use them they cannot be replaced and that one day they will run out. Coal, gas and oil are examples of fossil fuels.
To make electricity fossil fuels are burnt and this releases energy. This energy is then transformed into electricity for us to use in homes and at work and at school. However, burning fossil fuels creates 'greenhouse gas’ and this adds to the effects of climate change.
There are other ways of generating electricity and these are much better for the environment. The earth also has ‘renewable’ resources like the sun, wind and water. The earth naturally renews these resources and this means that they won’t run out. This is why they are called ‘renewable’.
We can use these renewable sources to create clean, green energy and this can then make clean, green electricity. Solar panels use the light from the sun to make energy. Turbines, like the ones at Whitelee, use moving air (wind) to create energy and dams and tidal devices can make energy from water.
Why should we use renewable energy?
Renewable energy is beneficial because it does not create greenhouse gas. This means that it is clean and green and helps to reduce pollution and minimise the effects of climate change.
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