P6-P7 Eco Reports, April 2008

One of the most widely forms of recycled energy are called Biomass energy. Biomass energy produces more electricity than any other renewable. The UK made twenty-eight tonnes of household rubbish every year. Only 11% of the UK rubbish is used to make electricity at the moment.


What is Biomass Energy?

One of the most widely used forms of renewable energy in the UK is Biomass energy. It produces more Electricity then any other renewable energy. Biomass Energy is made from waste.

How does it work?

With Biomass energy you get the waste and burn it to make

Electricity. For example in Cambridge shire, in Ely they the have largest straw burning power station in the world. Thousands of tones of straw from local farms are burned to generated electricity.

This is one waste to burn for Biomass Energy

How common is Biomass Energy in UK

The amount of UK’s electricity is supplied by Biomass energy is around 1.6.m. Biomass energy can be used by sewage. The heat is

used to help work treatment machinery and generate electricity.


·        Made from waste

·        Can be made from sewage


·        Burning waste makes pollution



                                                             Brief on tidal power

The tides go in and out twice each day. It is a renewable energy. It gives no by-products. But there are only forty sites around the world were tidal turbines can be built or installed. The tidal dam at La Rance provides power for 330,000 people. The turbines run for twelve hours a day. If a tidal dam was built in the UK it could provide 15 per cent power. 

Advantages                                                Disadvantages


It gives of no by-products.                   There are forty sites around the world to build one                                                                                                                                 

It is renewable.                                      They are very expensive. 


It doesn’t damage the ozone layer  


How is Electricity Made?

Most electricity is made in large buildings: ‘Power Stations.’ Electricity is used in homes, schools and other places. Electricity travels to places along thick wires called ‘cables’ or ‘power lines.’

In a ‘Power Station’ they make electricity by burning fuel. The fuels they use to burn are: coal, gas and oil. The fuel they burn makes steam and then it turns a machine called a generator. The generator makes electricity when it turns very quickly.


  • ‘Power Stations’ cause a lot of pollution. They make the air dirty and pollution is bad for the Earth and it can kill plants and animals.
  • Coal, gas and oil won’t last forever so we need to use renewable energy. People say that coal will run out in about 200 years! We can save energy by having wind turbines but some people don’t like them because they say they are too noisy.


  • ‘Power Stations’ are cleaner than they used to be. There are ways to make them even cleaner.




Geothermal energy

What is Geothermal Energy?

Geothermal energy is heat that is taken from the Earth’s core. Coal miners know that the deeper into the earth you go the hotter it gets.

How does Geothermal energy work?

People put  cold water down pipes into an area of hot rocks and water. The heat from the hot rocks and water makes the cold water hot. It then comes up through another pipe that takes it into a power station which turns some of into electricity.

Additional information.

·        The source of energy is renewable because the Earth will keep giving of heat.

·        There are no geothermal energy stations in the UK but there are some small scale examples.

·         The heat from the water produced is 76C and can be used to power your homes.

 Less than 0.1% of the UK’s electricity is powered by geothermal energy!!!


What is hydroelectric energy?

Hydroelectric energy is one of the oldest forms of power. Electricity can now be generated by building dams which then force the water to turn machinery.

How does it work?

A river going through a valley is blocked by a large dam, the valley is then flooded by the river, like a lake. Large pipes inside the dam let       water through under pressure.


·        It is renewable

·        It causes no pollution

·        It is more reliable than wind and solar power


·        It is very expensive  

·        Homes could be lost when dams are built

·        Wildlife habitats are lost

·        River life can be affected by dams

A picture of a stage of hydroelectric energy.


Hydroelectric Energy

Did you know that Hydro means water in Greek? Hydroelectric is one of the oldest forms of power. For hundreds of years watermills have been used to grind corn. Electricity today is generated by building dams; these force the water to turn machinery. This is called Hydroelectric Energy.


·      It is renewable.

·      It causes no pollution.

·      It’s more reliable than wind and solar and can be switched on when needed.

Possible Disadvantages

·      They are very expensive to build.

·      Homes will be lost for space to build them.

·      Wildlife will be killed when land is flooded to make reservoirs.




         Hydrogen fuel cell uses hydrogen gas to make electricity,                   and it is unlike an engine it doesn’t burn fuel and it causes no    pollution. It makes only water and heat as it works.




·                   Hydrogen fuel cells are quiet, unlike winds, and clean power unlike coal.

·                   Hydrogen can store energy to be used when it is needed-sometimes it’s not that easily to store energy with wind or

solar power.

·                   With hydrogen energy only water and heat are given off, but no poisonous gases.



Scientists are still looking into ways to make cheaper but more efficient hydrogen fuel cells.

Currently, fuel cells are being tested to find out different kinds of projects, such as transport, homes, road signs and factories.


Report On Wind Energy

What is wind energy?

Wind energy is a renewable source of energy. There are two types of wind farm – offshore and onshore. Onshore is on land and the less expensive of the two. Offshore is in the sea where there are strong winds. To create energy the wind turns the propellers on the turbines. This powers the generator, which sends the energy to the National Grid.

                                             Advantages and Disadvantages                                          



It is renewable


They spoil views

Land with windmills on can be used for farming


They can’t work in strong or weak winds  

Can be used on land and sea


There is some noise

It is cheaper than nuclear power



Wind energy in Britain

In Britain the most farms are in Scotland, Wales and Cornwall. Wind farms are normally on hills, to catch the wind. Cassop Primary School in Co. Durham was one of the first schools in Britain to have to have a Wind Turbine. One percent of Britain’s energy is supplied by wind energy.


Solar energy is an energy that comes from the sun.

The sun is roughly 150 million kilometers from earth.

We can use some of the sun’s energy to heat buildings, houses and cars.


·      You don’t have to pay for the sun’s energy

·      The sun will never run out

·      The sun keeps the earth warm


·      Solar panels cost thousands of pounds

·      Solar panels  work during the day



How solar energy works

Solar energy is energy that comes from the sun. The sun is roughly 150 million kilometres away from the earth and it is still very powerful. We can get some of the suns energy and heat buildings.

What are solar panels?

Solar panels are boxes you put on top of your house and when the sun shines on it, it makes energy which is connected to a cable and then to your computers and play stations.


·       The sun gives out free energy all the time

·       It is silent causes no pollution and doesn’t harm habitats  


·        Solar panels don’t work at night  

·       Solar panels cost a lot of money                 


What is Wave Energy?

Wave Energy is energy that comes from the sea. Waves are movements of water caused by the wind blowing across the sea. We can use wave energy, to make electricity.

How it works.

The Pelamis is a wave machine made of four giant metal tubes with moveable joints. The action of the waves causes the tubes to move up and down.  As the joints move, oil is forced through generators, which produce electricity as they spin.

The amount of electricity supplied by Wave Energy is 0.1 %.

Advantages of Wave Energy

  • It is a renewable form of energy which is caused by wind, so it can never run out.
  • The machines do not spoil the landscape and do not cause pollution.

Disadvantages of Wave Energy

·        Storms at sea can easily damage the machines even though they are very strong.

·        Rust, seaweed and barnacles can cause problems with the machinery.

·        Warning systems have to be made so ships can keep clear.



What is wave energy?

Wave energy is energy that comes from waves. The movements are caused by wind blowing across the sea. Every wave has energy in it which means we can use wave energy .The good thing about it is that it is renewable energy and will never run out!

How it works

The Pelamis is a wave machine made of four giant metal tubes. The movement of the waves cause the tubes to move up and down. When the joints move, oil is forced through generators which produce electricity, as they spin. The limpet is built into the shore and has strong concrete walls. Incoming waves push against the column of air which is trapped inside a machine.

     This is a picture of the Pelamis.



It is a renewable form of energy that can’t run out.

Storms at sea can easily damage even strong machines!

The machines cause no pollution and don’t spoil the landscape.

Warning systems have to be made so ships can keep clear.

The UK has a lot of coast line and big waves from the Atlantic ocean

Rust , sea weed and barnacles can cause problems with the machinery

   This is a picture of a under water turbine.


What is Solar Energy?

Solar energy is one of the most popular types of renewable energy in the world. The sun beats out more Solar Energy in one second than humans have used in a millennium! In fact, there is so much of it that 15% of it bounces back into space. 30% of it is used to evaporate water. The evaporated water turns into rain. 17% of the energy is soaked up by the trees, animals and plants.  But the rest can be taken into Solar panels.

What are Solar panels?

Solar Panels are large rectangles of gallium arsenide. The gallium arsenide is made into a cylinder and then cut into smaller slabs, which are then sliced into cells. These solar cells are then connected to the rest of the power network. Solar concentrators, made of clear plastic, are placed above to focus the Sun's rays. The cells are attached by wire to a circuit. As light strikes the semiconductor, light is converted into electricity that goes through the circuit. It then gets used to light your home, to turn on your TV and lots more. 

How does the sun produce the energy?

It’s not too complicated. Here is a diagram explaining what happens.




Great for the environment!

Very expensive.

Inexhaustible fuel source.

If you don’t get lots of sun, they probably won’t work so well.

They are silent and won’t keep you up all night.

It doesn't work at night.

They last a long time (no batteries).

They aren’t very pretty. I’m not sure if you can paint them. Probably not.



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