Can you imagine a world without electricity? That would mean no lights, television, computers, and much more! We take electricity for granted, but have you ever wondered where it comes from?
Here in the biosphere, electricity comes from many sources. However, most of it comes from water! Electricity generated from water is known as ‘hydro’ and is one of many types of renewable energy sources.
Renewable energyis energy created from a source that will not run out, or can grow fairly quickly. Here are some other types of renewable energy:
WIND: Wind can be used to produce electricity using tall structures called wind turbines. Wind turbines have large blades, and as the wind pushes the blades, it spins a generator to create electricity for our homes. Next time you are driving see if you can spot any wind turbines, there are some in the biosphere. In fact, you may be using electricity from the wind to read this!
SOLAR: Everyday the Earth intercepts an incredible amount of energy from the sun. In fact, in a single hour more solar energy hits the Earth than the entire world uses in a whole year! This amount of energy can be captured by solar panels to create electricity, heat water and homes, power batteries for electric cars, and much more!
GEOTHERMAL: The centre of the Earth, known as the inner core, is very hot. In fact, the inner core is around 6000°C – that’s as hot as the surface of the Sun! As the heat moves towards the Earth’s crust (what we live on) it begins to cool. The remaining heat can then be harnessed to heat or cool water, heat homes or pools, and generate electricity. The Museum on Tower Hill used geothermal power, stop in and ask them about it!
TIDAL: Tidal energy comes from harnessing the ocean’s tides. Each day, the ocean’s water level rises and drops because of gravity from the moon, sun, and the Earth’s rotation. As the tides move in and out (causing water levels to rise and fall) it can be used to spin an underwater turbine (comparable to a wind turbine) and create electricity.
Did you know that Canada has the world’s highest tides? Located between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the Bay of Fundy can rise and drop as much as 16 metres!
BIOMASS: This type of energy comes from materials that came from something living. Things like wood, wood chips, sawdust, and even animal poop can be used to create biomass energy! They are often burned to generate heat and electricity. In fact, the heat created from your campfire is made from biomass energy! Some types of food crops, like corn, can even be used to make liquid fuels that can power your car.
Three cheers for clean power and more flowers!
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