Advantage: Coal power is cheap and plentiful Disadvantage: Burning coal releases Carbon Dioxide (a greenhouse gas) and harmful pollution
Instead of burning coal, the heat for boiling water comes from the fission (splitting) of atoms Non-renewable
Advantages: Nuclear power does not release smoke or carbon dioxide gas, It is the cheapest of all “alternative” energies Disadvantages: Nuclear radiation is very dangerous if it escapes (causes cancer, etc.)
Steam for spinning a turbine is provided by naturally occurring heat underground. Renewable
Advantages: Geothermal does not cause much harm to the environment Disadvantage: Geothermal power is only possible in areas that have heat near surface
Instead of using steam, a turbine is spun by the flow of falling water. Renewable
Advantages: Hydroelectric dams do not cause air pollution, they are cheap to operate Disadvantages: Dams cost a lot of money to build, Dams are only possible in mountainous areas with large rivers.
Instead of using steam, a turbine is spun by the flow of wind. Renewable
Advantages: Wind power doesn’t add air pollution Disadvantages: Windmills are fairly expensive and are only usable in places with steady wind.
Solar cells do not work by spinning a generator. Sunlight is converted directly into electricity by the photoelectric effect. Renewable
Advantages: Solar power has a small effect on the environment Disadvantages: Solar panels are expensive, Solar panels are only effective in places sunny all year.