Lawsof thermodynamics refer to a set of scientific laws that define thephysical quantities such as energy, temperature, and entropy. Theselaws include Zeroth law, First law, second law, and the third law ofthermodynamics (Beal, 2014). The first law states that energy cannotbe created or destroyed, which means that it is conserved indifferent forms. It also means that the use of energy to carry outsome activities (such as driving machines) involves the conversion ofenergy from one form to another. The second law deals with theefficiency of associated with the heat engines in that they entropy,as closed systems, should not be expected to change.
Prosand cons of different types of energy
Fossilfuels (such as natural gas, oil, and coal) have both pros and cons.The main benefits of fossil fuels include reliability, readyavailability, and cheap price. These are considered to be theexcellent sources of energy for base-loads compared to other types ofenergy, such as solar (Maehlum, 2013). However, fossil fuels are themajor contributors of the global warming, are non-renewable, andnon-sustainable.
Nuclearenergy has three major benefits. First, nuclear energy does not playpart in the global warming since the power stations do not emitcarbon dioxide (Buzz, 2009). Nuclear energy is one of the mostconcentrated forms of energy since large amount of energy is producedwithin a small area. Third, nuclear energy is a reliable type ofenergy because its production does not depend on weather. Some of themajor drawbacks of nuclear energy include the high cost of disposingthe nuclear waste, fatal accidents, and the high cost ofdecommissioning the power stations.
Solarenergy is tapped from the sun rays. Some of the advantages of solarenergy include its usage in remote areas, low cost of generationafter the initial installation, and environmental safety. However,solar energy is unreliable since it depends on weather conditions,high cost of initial installation, and the failure of the solarsystems to match up the amount of energy generated (Ryan, 2009).
Windenergy is generated using the wind-driven turbines. This type ofenergy is environmentally friendly because it does not result in theemission of the greenhouse gases, good source of energy in remoteareas, low cost of energy generation after the initial cost ofinstallation (Ryan, 2009). However, wind energy is unreliable becauseit is dependent on weather conditions, only a small amount of energycan be generated from turbines and the cost of constructing turbinesis high compared to the amount of energy generated.
Hydropower is generated from water-driven turbines. Some of the benefitsof hydro-power include the constant production of energy after theconstruction of the dam and dams last for long, meaning that energyis stored and can be used when needed (Ryan, 2009). However, dams areexpensive to build, the dams require regular renovation, and theconstruction activities contribute towards environmental degradation.
Biofuelis generated from organic matter. Some of the advantages of biofuelinclude renewability, low carbon emission, energy security, and readyavailability of the source material (Skye, 2014). Some of thedisadvantages of biofuel include lower energy output, high cost ofproduction, and large amounts of water required by biofuel plants.
TheEnergy Policy Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in the year 2005.The act provided loan guarantees and tax incentives for firmsproducing energy in certain areas (U.S. Congress, 2012). There aretwo major provisions of the act that are geared towards helping theUnited States meets its goals for energy usage. First, section 205increases the level of bio-based energy that the United States shouldproduces with different targets to be pursued in different years(U.S. Congress, 2012). This will help the United States achieve itscarbon emission reduction targets. Title IV of the act increased thelevel of coal energy that the United States will produce, which willhelp the United States increases the overall energy production toaddress the ever increasing energy demands.
Inconclusion, energy is one of the key pillars of the global economy,but different types of energy have their merits and demerits. Some ofthe major issues of concern include the cost of production, theimpact of different sources of energy on the environment, initialcosts of installation, and amount of energy that is generatedrelative to the cost of generation.
Beal,J. (2014). Whatis the simple definition of the law of thermodynamics?Chicago: Phys Link.
Buzz,P. (2009, February 23). Nuclear energy: Pros and cons. TriplePundit LLC.Retrieved October 26, 2014, fromhttp://www.triplepundit.com/2009/02/nuclear-energy-pros-and-cons/
Maehlum,A. (2013). Fossil fuels pros and cons. EnergyInformation.Retrieved October 26, 2014, fromhttp://energyinformative.org/fossil-fuels-pros-and-cons/
Ryan,V. (2009). Advantages and disadvantages of solar power. TechnologyStudent.Retrieved October 26, 2014, fromhttp://www.technologystudent.com/energy1/solar7.htm
Skye,J. (2014). Advantages and disadvantages of biofuel. Loveto Know Corporation.Retrieved October 26, 2014, fromhttp://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/Advantages_and_Disadvantages_of_Biofuels
U.S.Congress (2012). Onehundred ninth congress of the United States.Washington, DC: U.S. Congress.