- Fossil fuels - Electricity - Energy use in the United States
The three primary fuels used for energy to power the world are coal, oil and natural gas. These energy sources are used for heating, cooking and industrial production. All of these energy sources are fossil fuels and significant use of them warms global temperatures, leading to climate change.
It was only after the invention of the internal combustion engine, oil-well drilling, and the process for refining crude oil into gasoline and liquid fuels, that commerce and transportation took off… building society as we know it. This happened in the 1800s. Initially, production involved coal, which was very polluting and created soot everywhere. After the process of refining crude oil into gasoline and liquid fuels was perfected, oil and gasoline replaced coal. Cities, which were very dirty and polluted during the Industrial Revolution, were cleaner by comparison using oil and gasoline.
Oil became the dominant energy in the United States by 1950. Today, it supplies 33% of the world's energy supply. Natural gas is found while looking for oil underground. Natural gas consists mainly of methane and burns more cleanly than oil or coal.
Energy we get from fossil fuels and other sources are used to generate electricity. Electrical power is the amount of work done by an electric current over a given period of time.
Electricity basically carries energy from a primary energy source such as coal, oil, gas or waterpower to the point of use. Generators convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. The power grid is the network of electric-power generating plants connected by transmission lines. 1 megawatt of energy is enough to power 800 homes.
Energy demands change during the day. When a power blackout happens due to bad weather, faulty equipment or crime, there are serious threats to the economy since people are highly dependent on electricity for productivity and even heating and cooling. A smart grid is a power grid that is self-monitoring and can react to trouble quickly with solutions.
Energy use in the United States is varied. A lot of energy is wasted to heat and loss. Top energy sources used in the United States in order of use from highest to lowest include: - petroleum - biomass - coal - natural gas - geothermal - wind - hydro - nuclear - solar