Renewable energy is energy generated from natural resources—such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat—which are renewable (naturally replenished). Most renewable energy comes either directly or indirectly from the sun. Solar energy can be used directly for heating and lighting, for generating electricity and a variety of commercial and industrial uses.
The sun's heat also drives the winds, whose energy is captured with wind turbines. Rain or snow flowing downhill into rivers or streams can be captured using hydropower.
The organic matter that makes up plants is known as biomass. Biomass can be used to produce electricity, transportation fuels, or chemicals. The use of biomass for any of these purposes is called biomass energy.
Hydrogen also can be found in many organic compounds, as well as water. It's the most abundant element on the Earth. But it doesn't occur naturally as a gas. It's always combined with other elements, such as with oxygen to make water. Once separated from another element, hydrogen can be burned as a fuel or converted into electricity.
Geothermal energy taps the Earth's internal heat for a variety of uses. And the energy of the ocean's tides comes from the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun upon the Earth.
In fact, ocean energy comes from a number of sources. In addition to tidal energy, there's the energy of the ocean's waves, which are driven by both the tides and the winds. The sun also warms the surface of the ocean more than the ocean depths, creating a temperature difference that can be used as an energy source. All these forms of ocean energy can be used to produce electricity.
Lately, it seems you can't swing a dead catalyst without hitting something called FUSION. Cars, candy bars, soft drinks, even razor blades are named after it. Probably to give you the impression that what's inside is high energy. (I still haven't figured out what fusion has to do with shaving).
My girlfriend used the word recently during a discussion we were having in front of the local theatre. She suggested that we see a romantic comedy. I countered with a film about a family of crazed killers. She said something about boundaries and followed it with, "Hey, it's not fusion". The next thing I know, I'm sitting in a center loge seat watching a movie I think was entitled "Tender Magnolias".
I decided that before our next date, I would learn more about fusion and exactly how it relates to movie selection.
Researchers are making hydrogen from common bacteria.
In the near future, hydrogen fuel cells promise to change our lives. These fuel cells will power our vehicles, homes and offices more efficiently and will be less harmful to the environment than traditional energy sources. Fuel cells using pure hydrogen do not emit any air pollutants or greenhouse gases.
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