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Renewable Energy WebQuest

Use the following link to help you complete the questions on energy.
o http://www.eia.gov/kids/energyfacts/index.html

1) How do scientists define energy?


Ability to do work.

2) Explain the law of conservation of energy. Give examples of energy transformations


Heat (thermal), light (radiant), Motion (kinetic), Electrical, Chemical, Nuclear Energy,
and Gravitational.

Potential and Kinetic

3) What is energy efficiency?


Amount of useful energy you get.

4) What does it mean for energy to be nonrenewable? Renewable?


Nonrenewable: sources are limited

Renewable: naturally replenished

5) According to the U.S. Energy Consumption by Energy Source, 2012, what percentage of energy that
we use is renewable? What percent is nonrenewable?

Nonrenewable: 91%

Renewable: 9%

Renewable Energy Sources

6) What are the 6 forms of renewable energy resources?

Biomass, Geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind, and hydrogen.


7) What is solar energy?


Solar energy is the sun's rays (solar radiation) that reach the earth.

8) Solar energy is converted into what energy?


This energy can be converted into heat and electricity.

9) Give two examples of how solar energy is used.


Photovoltaic (PV devices) or solar cells and solar thermal electric power plants.

10) What do solar cells do?


Change sunlight directly into energy

11) What do solar power plants do?


Concentrating solar energy to heat a fluid and produce steam that is then used to power a

12) What are the 2 main disadvantages to solar energy?


Amount of sunlight varies and a large area of surface is required

13) Explain how solar energy is beneficial for the environment.


Solar energy systems do not produce air pollutants or carbon dioxide.

When located on buildings, solar energy systems have minimal impact on the

14) What is wind and how is it caused?

Wind is caused by the uneven heating of the earth's surface by the sun

15) What did American colonists use windmills for?


American colonists used windmills to grind grain, to pump water, and to cut wood at

16) What do wind machines produce?



17) Describe a wind power plant.


Wind turbines use blades to collect the winds kinetic energy. Wind flows over the blades
creating lift (similar to the effect on airplane wings), which causes the blades to turn. The
blades are connected to a drive shaft that turns an electric generator, which produces

18) Describe the negative effects of wind machines.


Large and require a lot of land and planning

19) What does the word geothermal mean?

Heat from the Earth

20) What is geothermal energy?


Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source because the heat is continuously

produced inside the earth.

21) Geothermal energy is generated in the Earths core.

22) Where is geothermal energy found?

Deep inside the Earth.

23) Name 2 ways people have used direct geothermal energy?


Bathing, cooking, heating and District heating systems.

24) Describe how has Iceland used geothermal energy?

25) What does Biomass mean and what does it contain?

Biomass is organic material that comes from plants and animals. Biomass contains stored
energy from the sun.

26) Name 5 things that are biomass materials.


Some examples of biomass fuels are wood, crops, animal manure, and human sewage

27) What is the most common biomass material?



28) 84% of wood energy is used where?



29) How can biomass energy be negative to the environment?


It is burned and put in landfills.

30) Hydroelectric power generates what type of energy?


31) What 3 states hold over one-half of the total U.S. hydroelectric capacity for electricity is

Washington, Oregon and California.

32) Most dams in the United States were not built to provide electricity, but for irrigation and flood control.

33) Tides are the rising and falling of the ocean shore. What are tides caused by?

Gravitational pull of moon and sun.

34) Compare wind turbines and wave turbines.


The waves can then be channeled into a catch basin or used directly to spin turbines.

35) Not only could the ocean provide us with tidal energy, but wave energy.
36) What is Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion?

The Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) system uses a temperature difference (of
at least 77F) to operate a turbine to produce electricity.

37) Since the ocean expands almost two-thirds of the Earth, it makes sense to use that open ocean to provide
us with energy. What are the two forms of energy have scientists considered placing over the open


Use of Energy.

38) What are the 4 areas in which energy is used?

Commercial, residential, industrial, and transportation.

Residential- homes.

39) List the 5 ways in which energy is used in our homes.


Space heating, refrigeration, air conditioning, water heating, and electronics.

40) What is the most used type of energy in the home?


Space heating.

Saving Energy
Energy Efficiency
41) How much energy does the United States use?
42) The average American consumes more energy than the world average.
43) Identify 5 different ways in which we can conserve energy.