Energy is something without which the existence not only of man but also of all living things on earth is impossible. Therefore, issues related to the use of various energy sources and their impact on the environment will always face humanity and will continue to be a topic of discussion on USReviews. And if the problem of renewing such sources is solved sooner or later, then it is unlikely that the issue of the impact on the planet’s ecology of human-created energy systems, whether thermal energy, hydropower, nuclear or solar panels, relevant.
The main types of energy needed for life on the planet and human activities
There are different classifications of energy types. One of them is in the form in which it enters the service of a person. In this case, the amount of energy is a constant value. It only flows from one form to another with the help of different types of energy carriers during different chemical and physical processes. The main types of energy on earth are:
- radiant (light energy);
The main types of energy sources
There are several such types and possibly new ones will be added during technical progress. Their classifications can be based on different principles. The most global of these principles is the limit of the source or its capacity to renew itself. On this basis, they are all divided into two large groups:
It is common to refer to renewable sources:
- the sun;
- the water;
- geothermal sources
- the biosphere of the planet
Strictly speaking, almost all the sources listed would be more correctly called conditionally renewable, because there is nothing eternal. The nuclear processes that take place in the Sun and in the bowels of the Earth, which today are the most powerful source of energy, are certainly over. The movement of water and air is possible only if it exists. There is no need to talk about the renewability of plant biomass.
This is not the case with non-renewable sources. Their exhaustion in the process of exploitation by humans appears before our eyes. Their main types:
- chemical elements that are a source of radioactive radiation.
The human invasion of the planet’s natural energy and ecological systems can only affect the state of the environment. Somewhere, such an impact is almost imperceptible, but somewhere it is catastrophic. It is generally accepted that almost all renewable energy sources are environmentally friendly.
The sun, air, gravity, and the Earth’s thermal energy are indeed “clean” energy sources, the use of which is safe for the environment. However, almost all of them now have too little efficiency to completely replace the “harmful” sources for the environment. They predict an extraordinary future for solar power plants after people learn to more efficiently turn a star’s energy into electricity at any latitude and at any time.
Unfortunately, everything that has been said about renewable sources does not apply to hydroelectric power plants and biofuel installations. The influence of the latter has not yet been sufficiently studied, but there is no doubt that any human intrusion into the structure of the biosphere, disturbing the bio balance in nature, can have the saddest consequences.