- There are many ways to get energy! These are broadly split into three types:
- 1. Fossil fuels
• Fuels that are burnt, converting chemical energy to thermal energy.
• These fuels come from the remains of dead plants and animals from millions of years ago.
• Burning fossil fuels releases lots of CO2 — which is a major cause of climate change.
- 2. Nuclear fuels
• The nuclei of certain atoms (such as Uranium and Plutonium) are split apart in a chain reaction, converting nuclear energy to thermal energy.
• Releases no CO2 but leaves behind radioactive nuclear waste. Nuclear waste must be stored underground, and takes a very long time to decay.
- 3. Renewable resources
• Unlike fossil and nuclear fuels, these resources will not run out.
• When in use, renewable resources produce no CO2 or other greenhouse gases!
• However, many renewable resources cannot produce a reliable output of energy.
- Apart from nuclear, geothermal and tidal energy, all of these energy resources ultimately come from the sun.