Journalist

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ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF ENERGY SOURCES
Prepared by Sandra Vasa-Sideris, PhD, Southern Polytechnic State University, for use by students ©
Questions to consider








Where are the nonrenewable sources of energy located?
How easy is it to gain access to these sources?
What are the consequences of using these sources (fuels)?
What are the costs (direct and indirect) of using these sources?
Are there viable alternative sources of fuel?
What is the current cost of crude oil and other forms of energy?
What else have you learned about these resources?
What is the political environment for these energy sources?

NATURAL GAS
Advantages








Burns clean compared to cola, oil (less polluting)
70% less carbon dioxide compared to other fossil fuels helps improve quality of air and water (not a pollutant) does not produce ashes after energy release has high heating value of 24,000 Btu per pound inexpensive compared to coal no odor until added

Drawbacks




not a renewable source finite resource trapped in the earth (some experts disagree) inability to recover all in-place gas from a producible deposit because of unfavorable economics and lack of technology (It costs more to recover the remaining natural gas because of flow, access, etc.)

Other information



5,149.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserve left (more than oil but less than coal)
23.2% of total consumption of natural gas is in the United States

WATER POWER
Pros








Provides water for 30-30% of the world’s irrigated land
Provides 19% of electricity
Expands irrigation
Provides drinking water
Supplies hydroelectric energy (falling water used to run turbines)
Easier for third world countries to generate power (if water source is available) It is cheaper

Cons









Destabilizes marine ecosystems
Water wars (up river and down river; e.g., the water war between…...

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