Our clean energy show & tell
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What is clean energy?

Most of our electricity comes from power stations that use fossil fuels like coal and oil.

The power stations burn the fossil fuels to make our electricity and in that process a LOT of greenhouse gas is made, including carbon dioxide and methane. This is why they are called dirty sources of energy.

It is the greenhouse gases that are causing the Earth's atmosphere to warm, which scientists tell us will cause the climate to change. It is understood that this will cause more extreme weather, the spread of diseases and threaten the habitat of all living things.

Check out the Future Sparks page on climate change

Coal, oil and gas are non-renewable sources of energy because we can only use what is available and once they have been used up, that's it!

Wave energy: how it works Watch video now

Moving towards a clean energy world

We have already found ways to tap into the energy of the sun, wind, waves and water, amongst other things.

These sources of energy produce only very small amounts of greenhouse gas once operating, if any at all - now that's clean!

They are also renewable which means they can be used over and over again.

Solar, wind and water are examples of clean energy sources we have started to use. You can read a brief explanation of them below and then check out others in the Inspiration section.

The challenge is finding ways to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions when dirty energy sources are used to make power and develop the clean energy industry so it supplies more and more of the energy we use.

SolarGovernment are exploring lots of different ways to help. One of these makes companies who pollute pay for their pollution. Other ideas include big projects to help such as tree plantations and encouraging people to use less energy.

Don't forget to check out the Glossary pages if there are any words or concepts you don't understand and you can read more about  Earth's resources and energy sources in Pearson Science chapters 7: 3.1 and 7: 3.2

Earth's resources

More information on a range of clean energy sources and the latest, most exciting developments is in the Inspiration section. There we explore the developments being made to make clean energy more efficient as well as whole new, exciting (sometimes wacky) ideas.

Check out the video <a href="http://www.forteachersforstudents.com.au/CEC-Education/fact-sheets.php"target="_blank">here</a>

Clean energy video

The Clean Energy Council holds an annual event, called Clean Energy Week to explain the different ways we can produce clean energy.

Bernard Caleo, a really cool and funny guy, explains some of the different renewable energy technologies as part of the Clean Energy Week Education Program last year in Melbourne.

 

Wind

Wind energy is actually caused by the sun warming up the air. You can read more about this process in the fact sheets linked here.

Humans have been using the energy of the wind for centuries. Windmills have been used to mill wheat and pump water.Small MAN_ON_TURBINE-039

These days we use huge wind turbines and group them together in wind farms to harness the energy of the wind to make electricity.

There is discussion in the community about wind farms in Australia. Some people are 'for' and some people are 'against'.

Read more in the Inspirations section of the website.

The Future Makers: solar in Australia Watch video now

Solar

Solar means sun and Australia is the sunniest place on the planet, which is good news.

We can use the energy from the sun in a number of ways.

Until recently, systems to use solar energy were very expensive and the technology was only capable of using a small percentage of the energy.

For more background on solar and how it works take a look at the fact sheet links.

There are some new developments with solar that are ingenius. Take a look at them in the Inspiration section of the website.

The Future Makers: Biowave Watch video now The Future Makers: wave power Watch video now

Water

There are so many ways to harness the energy of water.

Wave, tides, ocean thermals and flowing rivers all have energy that we can use

Australia has a great history in hydro-electricity with the Snowy River scheme still the biggest engineering project in our history.

Download Peason's chapter on water to learn more.

Harnessing the energy of waves, tides and ocean thermals is still developing with some ingenius developments being trialled here in Australia.

Take a look in the Inspiration section to find out more about the energy in water. For more information about the water cycle and water management, check out the Pearson Science chapters.

Water Cycle

The Competition
The competition

We asked Australian students to make a video or convince us in writing about their BIG ideas for a sustainable energy future.

Check out the fantastic videos we received, all about sustainable energy solutions!

VIEW THE GALLERY OF ENTRIES
Prizes
Future technology

Sources of energy are only limited by our imagination.

How can we capture and make the most out of the energy we create?

CHECK OUT FUTURE TECHNOLOGY
Help the planet Become a future spark!