Renewable Energy Sources for Modern Manufacturing

Energy Source Process What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages?
Solar Electricity and hot water are generated via solar cells. Large amounts of energy available from solar farms. Contributes to heating water and is relatively inexpensive to set up. Solar cells are expensive. Demand in winter when heat from the sun is at its lowest.
Wind Wind power turns turbines. Low cost power after initial set up. Contributes small amount to total energy needs. Can be unsightly. Set up costs are very high.
Tides Turbine blades are reversible and can harness the tide in both directions. Has the potential for large scale energy production and is available throughout the day on a regular basis and does not pollute. Very high set up costs. Could cause flooding of estuary borders, which may damage wildlife and natural habitat.
Water The fall of water (from rivers, streams or lakes) - turns turbines and generates hydroelectric power. Clean quick and efficient at peak times. Contributes only a small amount to the needs of manufacturing. High set up costs. Suitable sites can be in remote areas.
Geothermal Holes in the earth’s crust produce steam to generate electricity. Provides power and hot water. On a large scale, it is only effective in countries such as Iceland where the crust is thin.
Biomass Wood, plant matter and waste is burnt and generates heat. Low cost power is produced. Potential for deforestation – and transportation of timber to biomass sites. Environmental pollution.

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