Online College Courses for Credit

Energy Forms

Energy Forms

Author: Amanda Soderlind

This lesson will explain the advantages and disadvantages of generating electricity from various forms of energy.

See More
Fast, Free College Credit

Developing Effective Teams

Let's Ride
*No strings attached. This college course is 100% free and is worth 1 semester credit.

47 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

299 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 33 of Sophia’s online courses. Many different colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.


Electricity can be generated in many different ways. A good portion of our electrical energy in the United States is produced by burning fossil fuels such as coal. Fossil fuels are abundant, easy to find and relatively cheap. However, burning fossil fuels are not environmentally friendly and emit harmful gases into the atmosphere.


Another way to generate electrical energy is by nuclear fission. This means energy is harnessed by splitting atoms. Nuclear fission produces very large amounts of energy however; disposing of nuclear waste is often a problem as it is hazardous and can contaminate waterways. Nuclear fission is also dangerous to people because of the amounts of radiation released.

There are many forms of renewable energy that are another alternative. Solar energy, wind energy and wave energy are a few forms of renewable energy. These energy types are relatively easy to harness, produce large amounts of energy, are much less harmful to the environment and we will not run out of them.  The downside is that many forms of renewable energy are expensive and can only be harnessed in certain areas. For example to harness wind energy you must be in an area that is windy enough.



Wind farms are used to harness wind energy: