Powering the future Despite modern society’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels for energy, most people are aware that the supply of these fuels is fini


Powering the future
Despite modern society’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels for energy, most people are aware that the supply of these fuels is finite. As oil, in particular, becomes more costly and difficult to find, researchers are looking at alternative energy sources, including solar, wind, and even nuclear power.
Solar panels catch energy directly from the sun and convert it into electricity. One of the world’s largest solar power stations is located near Leipzig, Germany, where more than 33,000 solar panels have capacity to generate enough energy to power about 1,800 homes. But unlike the burning oil of fossil fuels, the process used to create all the solar energy produces no emission.
Today, however, solar provides less than one percent of the world’s energy, primarily because the cost of the panels is still very high. And the price is only one issue. Clouds and darkness also cause solar panels to produce less energy, which requires one to have additional power sources (such as batteries) available.
Some scientists think the solution to this problem can be found in space – which they say is the ideal place to gather energy from the sun. With no clouds and no nighttime, a space-based solar power station could operate constantly. These stations would send the power back to the Earth, which could then be turned into electricity for consumption.
Wind – the fastest growing alternative energy source – is another way of collecting energy from the sun. Wind is caused by the sun’s heat rather than its light, and therefore, unlike solar power, it works well even on cloudy days.
Despite its success, some oppose wind-power development, saying the turbines are both noisy and ugly. Just outside England’s Lake District, a protected national park, twenty-seven wind towers are planned. Many locals are protesting. “This is a high – quality landscape,” says one local homeowner. “They shouldn’t be putting those things in here.”
There are other challenges, too. If the wind doesn’t blow, the turbines are not able to produce adequate energy. As a result, other power sources are needed. In contrast, a strong wind can create too much power. In case like this, the energy company must sell the extra power at a much-reduced rate, which is not good for business. What’s needed for both wind and solar is a way to store a large energy surplus.
In the 1970s, nuclear was seen as the main energy alternative. Nuclear power produces vast amounts of electricity more cheaply than gas or coal, with no carbon emissions. For a number of years in the 1980s and 1990s, however, use of nuclear declined due to accidents, concerns about nuclear waste storage and disposal, and high construction costs.
Today, times are changing. Worldwide, about 432 plants now generate 13 percent of the planet’s electric power, and some countries have invested heavily in nuclear energy. France, for instance, gets three quarter of its electricity from nuclear power, the highest of any countries. China has started to build one or two new plants a year, and India has also begun to utilize nuclear energy on a large scale.
In the end, is any of these sources alone the answer to our current energy problems? The short answer is no, but used in some combination – along with other sources – we may find ways to reduce and eventually eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels.
1 What is the passage mainly about?
A Possible replacements for fossil fuels for energy.
B The various causes of the energy crisis in the world.
C The benefits of solar power over other alternative energy sources.
D Problems caused by our overdependence on fossil fuels.
• The word “emission” in paragraph 2 is closest meaning to ________.
• panels B. electricity C. pollution D. accidents
• Which of these statements about solar energy is stated in the passage?
• Solar energy is currently the biggest contributor to the world’s energy.
• Solar energy is cheap to produce due to low price of solar panels.
• Solar space stations could be the solution to the energy crisis.
• Solar energy can have a harmful effect on the environment.
• What is NOT mentioned as a disadvantage of wind power?
• Strong winds produce too much power.
• Strong winds can damage the turbines.
• The turbines create of a lot of noise.
• The turbines are seen as ugly.
• Which of these statements is true about nuclear energy according to the passage?
• It is more expensive form of energy than coal or gas.
• It produces a lot of carbon waste.
• Safety concerns made nuclear energy unpopular for several decades.
• Nuclear energy is becoming less popular than other energy sources.
• Which country gets most of its power from nuclear power?
• France B. Germany C. India D. China

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Maya 2 tuần 2021-11-28T12:19:23+00:00 1 Answers 7 views 0

Answers ( )


    1. C

    2. Solar space stations could be the solution to the energy crisis.

    3. Strong winds can damage the turbines

    4. Safety concerns made nuclear energy unpopular for several decades.

    5. France

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