This course presents an overview of nonrenewable and renewable energy resources. Energy resources derived from the earth provide the majority of our energy needs. These resources include fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas and coal) and radioactive ores used to generate nuclear power. Nonrenewable energy resources are finite and may be used up in the future. Extraction of these geologic materials can result in negative environmental impacts if careful management strategies are not employed. Energy needs for our industrial economy may be met using both renewable and alternative energy sources, which include hydro power, solar power, geothermal power, biomass and wind power. Alternative fuels may be used in the transportation sector. Other course topics include energy conservation, air pollution, energy and sustainable development and energy and global climate change.
(A requirement that must be completed before taking this course.)
Upon successful completion of the course, the student should be able to:
- Distinguish between renewable and nonrenewable energy resources.
- Analyze the global distribution of crude oil, oil sand, and oil shale reserves.
- Summarize the advantages and disadvantages of using natural gas as an energy source.
- Distinguish active from passive solar energy.
- Evaluate the potential for alternative energy sources, such as wind power, biofuels, and geothermal, to meet our growing energy needs.
- Compare energy resources to determine what resources should be used to promote sustainable development.
- Evaluate methods individuals can employ to conserve energy.
- Compare new energy technologies developed in the transportation sector.
- Explain the relationship between air pollution and energy use.
- Develop a sustainable energy plan that includes a varied energy portfolio of conventional and alternative sources of energy.
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