The law of thermodynamics is the asserting that the amount of energyin the continent is constant and does not change. The first law ofthermodynamics asserts that the energy only changes the forms such asfrom heat energy to electrical energy or from chemical energy to heatenergy. It is also essential to state that the law of thermodynamicsasserts that energy in the continent cannot be created or destroyed,but people can only change the forms of energy (McCarthy, 2014).Despite this first law of thermodynamics, there is a second law thatsuggests that there is some energy that is lost in form of heatduring the conversions and therefore the potential energy will alwaysbe less than the initial energy of the universe.
These laws of thermodynamics are extremely essential in science andin energy, use, conversion and efficiency. The first law ofthermodynamics is essential in that it allows people to use differentform of energy which are efficient and which produce maximum output.Thanks to the first law of thermodynamics, people can convert energyforms and use them appropriately (McCarthy, 2014). For example, heatenergy from the sun can be converted into electrical energy throughtapping it with solar panels. The second law calls for energyefficiency in that it asserts the decreasing potential energy in thecontinent. This calls for a reduction in the wastage of energy henceleading to energy efficiency (McCarthy, 2014).
Fossil fuels namely oil, gas and coal have various advantages anddisadvantages. These fossil fuels are available in plenty across theworld hence there is no shortage. The fossil fuels are also easy totransport from one place to the other (Farret, 2013). For example,the oil can easily be transported through pipes. Additionally, fossilfuels are efficient in that they provide enormous energy and theyalso provide job opportunities for numerous people across the world.The disadvantages of fossil fuels include being dirty and alsodestroying the environment through emission of carbon dioxide(Farret, 2013). These sources of energy are also not renewable anddespite their presence in plenty, it is clear that they will one daydeplete. The fossil fuels also pose health risks for the works incoal mine fields. Oil spills are also common and they destroy theenvironment, as well as affect aquatic life.
Nuclear energy is one of the most advocated for forms of energytoday. This source of energy has the advantage of being clean andemitting little carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in comparison to thetraditional sources of energy (Farret, 2013). Although the initialcost of constructing nuclear plants is high, the running andmaintenance costs are low hence it is considered as a cheap source ofenergy. The disadvantages include the fact that this is a renewablesource of energy. Additionally, nuclear plant accidents are extremelydangerous and can lead to loss of lives and property (Farret, 2013).Lastly, the nuclear source of energy releases radioactive materialswhich are dangerous to human life.
Solar energy is the energy from the sun and it is renewable. Thissource of energy is also available in abundance. Another advantage isthat solar energy is clean and also silent. This implies that it doesproduce any noise such as the one produced by generators to produceenergy using fossil fuels (Farret, 2013). Additionally, people canshare one big solar panel without having to buy a solar panelindividually. On the contrary, solar energy is considered as beingexpensive in terms of the cost of the solar panels and also theinstallation costs. Secondly, the energy from the sun is intermittentmeaning that the sun is not available throughout and it is onlyavailable during the day and in some parts of the world. The solarenergy has to be stored in cells which are extremely expensive hencemaking solar energy an expensive source of energy.
Wind power is the energy derived from the wind. Wind power isrenewable and therefore it is a reliable source of power. Wind poweris also considered as one of the green sources of energy since itdoes not cause any pollution. Wind power is also sufficient toprovide more than 20% of what the entire world needs in terms ofenergy (Farret, 2013). The wind turbines that are used to generatepower are cheap to maintain and they occupy little space. There are anumber of disadvantages associated with wind power. To start with,wind is unpredictable and therefore the energy source may notreliable after all. The wind turbines are said to produce a lot ofnoise especially for the people staying close to the turbines(Farret, 2013). It is also worth to state that the wind turbines area threat to the wild animals such as birds which might be hit by theturbines.
This source of power is a clean source of power since it does notcause pollution to the environment. The source of power is alsorenewable and can serve generations to come in the future. It is alsoa source of power that is flexible (Farret, 2013). This implies thatthe levels of water can be regulated depending on the energy needs.However, water power is expensive to generate and also the seasons ofdrought affect the water levels hence energy output.
This source of energy is cheap to produce since it can be generatedfrom locally available material such as manure. It is also a cleansource of energy and also renewable. This is a clean source of energyand it does not pollute the environment since it releases littlecarbon dioxide and other hazardous gases to the atmosphere (Farret,2013). However, this source of energy produces nitrous oxide whichcan cause the green house effect. More land is being cleared forbiofuel which is yet another problem.
Provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005
The Act provides provisions for energy efficiency which are beingimplemented to date. One provision is the tax incentives formanufacturers and consumers who adopt advanced energy savingtechnologies (United States, 2005). This is a provision that is aimedat reducing energy consumption by both the manufacturers and theconsumers. This is a provision that would help America to meet itsenergy use goals. It will lead to reduction in the usage of power inthe country through advanced technology hence reducing pollution.
The second provision is the one that states that there should beminimum energy efficiency standards on 16 products. These areproducts such as refrigerators and machine washers. Manufacturers areencouraged to produce products that are energy efficient to certainstandards (United States, 2005). This will go a long way in ensuringthat America attains its energy use goals. It is clear that the Obamaadministration is following up on this provision and it is alreadybearing fruits. The 16 products are most used household electricalappliances hence need the minimum energy efficiency standards.
Farret, F. A. (2013). Integration of Alternative Sources ofEnergy. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
McCarthy, R. (2014). The laws of thermodynamics:Understanding heat and energy transfers. New York: Rosen.
United States. (2005). The Energy Policy Act of 2005:Hearings before the Subcommittee on Energy and AirQuality of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, One Hundred Ninth Congress, firstsession, February 10 and February 16, 2005.Washington: U.S. G.P.O.