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Energy Advances

Energy Advances

Author: Amanda Soderlind

This lesson will describe the trade-offs involved when technological developments impact the way we use energy, natural resources, or synthetic materials.

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In today’s society energy is essential. The ways and technologies we use to derive energy vary but each way has some trade-offs.

One of the main ways we derive our energy is from burning coal. Coal is a fossil fuel and when burned causes a large amount of pollution. In addition coal being a fossil fuel means that it takes a long time to form and we could run out if we are not careful. This affects how we use this type of energy. However, coal is a relatively cheap, effective and easy way to produce large amounts of energy.  

Alternate technologies we can use are nuclear fission, solar energy, wave energy and wind power. These are derived from materials that are not fossil fuels and therefore are more sustainable and generally more environmentally friendly. However these technologies are sometimes very dangerous, can affect natural habitats around them, are expensive or take up very large quantities of space.

We have yet to develop an energy source that has absolutely no negative aspects so we will have to continue to weigh the pros and cons of the technologies we have now until we develop something better.