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Renewable Energy



Renewable Energy
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.31

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    penstock, photovoltaic, wind-driven, radioactivity, occurrence, tremendous, biomass, geologists, decompose, organic, hydroelectric, spans, geothermal, currently, consistent, interior
     content words:    San Francisco, United States


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Renewable Energy
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     "Calling all renewable resources; come out, come out wherever you are!" If it were only that simple, our concerns about energy could be lessened. However, with each passing year, and with the increasing demand for energy, our need to find renewable resources has become greater. Scientists estimate that our fossil fuel supply may become extinct during the next 200 years. We cannot rely on nuclear energy due to its radioactivity. So what else is there to use?
 
2     Geologists and other scientists around the world are currently researching alternative energy sources. Their main goal is to find resources that are safe to use, environmentally responsible, and replaceable for future generations. Natural resources that can be replaced as they are used or within human life spans are called renewable resources. Scientists are studying the effectiveness of five different types of renewable energy: geothermal energy, solar energy, hydroelectric energy, biomass, and wind energy.
 
3     Geothermal energy is a form of heat energy that comes from inside our planet. In fact, the word geothermal means "energy from the heat of the Earth's interior." The water beneath our planet's surface can become heated as it flows through rock. The heat comes from magma or hot gases that are released by the magma. The heat energy that is produced comes from the hot water or its steam. Since magma and its gases can reach tremendous temperatures, you can imagine the amount of heat generated with geothermal energy. Scientists and engineers use wells to collect the energy. These wells are drilled in locations where hot water exists. When only hot rocks are available, scientists pump water into the wells. This produces the hot water and steam necessary for energy. Once the steam and hot water are collected, they are used to power turbines that generate electricity. Cities like San Francisco in the United States use geothermal power plants to produce some of its their electricity. In other countries, like Iceland, about eighty-five percent of homes are heated through geothermal energy.

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