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Alternative Energy Project

Texting your friends, driving to the movies, listening to your ipod . . . we rely on energy for everything we do. As we look to the future, will we have enough energy to meet all of our needs? Energy has proven to be one of the top issues of this century as we face an uncertain energy future on a global basis. The goal of this project is to explore the energy challenges we are facing and what are some solutions that might lie ahead as we investigate alternative, environmentally sustainable energy sources.



Background:

Fossil fuels, like oil, coal, and petroleum are nonrenewable energy resources. They cannot be replaced in a short amount of time so their supply is limited. Fossil fuels are energy sources formed over millions of years from the remains of dead plants and animals. Through photosynthesis, plants store energy from the sun and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. By eating the plants, animals then use and store this energy. When these fossil fuels areexternal image oilrig1450.jpg burned, the energy from the sun and stored carbon dioxide are released.

Most of our energy needs today are met by burning fossil fuels. In order to decrease the amount of petroleum we use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we need to develop and use a variety of energy sources. There are several energy sources, like biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectricity, hydrogen power, and nuclear that might hold the key to our future energy needs. These energy sources are renewable and can be replenished in a short period of time. They can be converted into electricity and hydrogen power for later use. When electricity is made from a renewable source, it emits significantly fewer greenhouse gases.


Purpose:

The purpose of this project is to create a wiki to teach others about alternative forms of energy, their benefits, and limitations. A wiki is a place for students to collaborate on resource pages and have a discussion thread about the topic.