Transformations and transfers of energy within a system usually result in some energy escaping into its surrounding environment. Some systems transfer less energy to their environment than others during these transformations and transfers.
Learning Goal 2
Different ways of obtaining, transforming, and distributing energy have different environmental consequences.
Learning Goal 3
In many instances, manufacturing and other technological activities are performed at a site close to an energy resource. Some forms of energy are transported easily, others are not.
Learning Goal 4
Electrical energy can be generated from a variety of energy resources and can be transformed into almost any other form of energy. Electric circuits are used to distribute energy quickly and conveniently to distant locations.
Learning Goal 5
Energy from the sun (and the wind and water energy derived from it) is available indefinitely. Because the transfer of energy from these resources is weak and variable, systems are needed to collect and concentrate the energy.
Learning Goal 6
Industry, transportation, urban development, agriculture, and most other human activities are closely tied to the amount and kind of energy available. People in different parts of the world have different amounts and kinds of energy resources to use and use them for different purposes.
Learning Goal 7
Energy is required for technological processes such as taking apart, putting together, moving around, and communicating.
Learning Goal 8
People have invented ingenious ways of deliberately bringing about energy transformations that are useful to them.
Learning Goal 9
Energy resources are more useful if they are concentrated and easy to transport.
Learning Goal 10
Some resources are not renewable or renew very slowly. Fuels already accumulated in the earth, for instance, will become more difficult to obtain as the most readily available resources run out. How long the resources will last, however, is difficult to predict. The ultimate limit may be the prohibitive cost of obtaining them.
Learning Goal 11
By burning fuels, people are releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and transforming chemical energy into thermal energy which spreads throughout the environment.