A4.13 Renewable Energy


Through reducing the amount of energy we use we will reduce the environmental impact. However, much energy is production is based on fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas). To truly reduce the impact of energy use, we must make use of renewable energy sources.


Solar electricity systems capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity.


Wind turbines use large blades to catch the wind. When the wind blows the blades are forced round, driving a turbine which generates electricity. The stronger the wind, the more electricity produced.


Hydroelectricity systems generate electricity from running water, which turns a small turbine that generates electricity. The faster the water flows and the more water there is; the more electricity can be generated.


Geothermal energy is obtained through harnessing the naturally occurring heat under the ground. It may involve extracting hot springs or using a ground source heat pump, which uses buried pipes containing liquid, which is warmed up by the ground.


Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air. It extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside.