What is a Fossil Fuel Power Station?
Most of the electricity generated
in the world today
comes from power stations which burn fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels are coal, oil and natural gas.
The original source of the energy is the Sun.
Plants use sunlight energy for photosynthesis.
Coal is made from plant remains. Oil and natural gas
are made from both plant and animal remains.
Animals received their energy from eating plants.
Of the three fossil fuels,
natural gas has the
shortest start-up time which means that a gas fired
power station can quickly provide extra electricity
when there is an increase in demand (for example
in the evening when people use electricity for cooking,
heating and lighting). Natural gas causes the
least pollution of the three fossil fuels (see below).
What are the Advantages of Burning Fossil Fuels?
1. They give a large amount of energy
from a small amount of fuel.
2. They are readily available.
If you need more energy, you just burn more fuel.
3. They are relatively cheap.
What are the Disadvantages of Burning Fossil Fuels?
1. They are non-renewable.
Once you burn them, they are gone.
2. They cause pollution.
Burning a fossil fuel can produce carbon dioxide,
sulfur dioxide and smoke.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and causes global warming.
Sulfur dioxide causes acid rain.
3. Power stations
burning fossil fuels use water as a coolant
and may return warm water into a river. This
decreases the amount of dissolved oxygen in the river.
We can reduce our energy use in a number of ways.
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