Energy is a term used by all sorts of people, both casually and technically. It is because energy is all around us. Energy has its importance in every aspect of our life.
It is not possible to sustain on the earth without energy. We need the energy to talk, to walk, to eat, to move from one place to another, to live and to do any work.
So, let us understand the term energy.
What is energy?
Energy is something related to work. Work is said to be done when an object causes a displacement due to a force applied to it. Depending on the force applied to the object, it may move faster or slower.
Energy is the ability to do that work. It is the amount of work that is done to an object to perform some action.
Imagine the Cricket game, in which the bowler runs and throws the ball. The batsman at the other end hit the ball very hard to score runs. While doing so, the batsman transfers his stored energy to the ball. So the ball gains kinetic energy and moves through a particular distance.
We need the energy to make that happen. Similarly, Energy can make everything happen if you want to do anything from using home appliances to walking through the park to driving or moving around the town. Though our lives constantly come surrounded by it, the nature of an almost universal force is often misunderstood — or not thought of at all. The power we need is everywhere.
Why do we need energy?
Energy fuels our internal processes and regulates them. The protein is used to repair blood and tissue, and helps build muscles and is essential to maintain homeostasis. Energy is necessary to produce enzymes, muscle contraction, muscle movement and transfer electrical impulses between cell membranes.
In our society energy must come for everything from the driving of vehicles to watching televisions to the lighting of houses. Even when we are mainly concerned about energy levels this allows one to regulate body functions while sleeping and when your appliances are off. It’s also vital in maintaining a healthy physique.
Everything in the world relies on a little energy — running industries, institutions, transportations, heating, cooking, etc.
Where you can find the energy?
You can find it inside the foods, which contain stored chemical energy. If you eat vegetables, more energy is consumed than any other food. For societal and industrial use, energy can be found in fuels or stored in nuclear particles or redirected by planets based on natural or geophysical processes such as wind power, nuclear power, solar power or hydropower.
They are considered the primary energy sources so we can take energy directly from them. In addition, we consume secondary energy sources usually animal waste from primary producers. We have access everywhere to our energy and many resources across the world.
How can energy be created?
When people say they make up and consume energy, they are literally referring to energy conversion. The law of conservation of energy states that “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but can be transformed from one form to another.”
When energy is generated by nuclear power or other industrial sources, it can be used to create resources from which materials are manufactured. If energy is used, it is simply transferred into a new state, frequently as heat energy or kinetic energy.
Types of Energy
Potential energy is a form of energy stored in objects that can be released through gravitational and elastic forces. Kinetic Energy is the energetic energy of an object in motion when the potential energy is released in a matter.
The most important factors for kinetic energy are the speed and mass of the object containing the energy. Both are the fundamental types that are responsible for most of the processes throughout the universe from the planetary orbits to the growth of grass from the rocky surfaces.
There are many different types of energy sources such as primary energy sources, secondary sources, renewable energy sources, non-renewable energy sources and commercial energy sources. Yet they all fall under one of two main types of energy: potential energy and kinetic energy.
Energy is available in different forms such as solar energy, wind energy, nuclear energy, mechanical energy, geothermal energy, potential energy, kinetic energy, stored chemical energy, etc.
Importance of Energy
The Sun is the primary renewable energy, which forms the basic energy system for the earth and other planets. The nuclear fusion reaction in the sun causes the release of an enormous amount of energy.
This energy will radiate towards the earth. After being incident on the earth’s surface, a part of it is utilized by fossil fuels. Some part of incident energy is used to generate wind power, solar power and hydropower.
How energy is important for Living things?
All living things including plants, animals, humans utilize the solar energy from the sun. Plants use sunlight for the photosynthesis process to produce the energy necessary for their growth. The plants and trees consume carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and release oxygen. They also give different foods such as rice, wheat, vegetables and fruits.
Energy is very important for humans and animals. They, directly and indirectly, consume the foods cultivated from plants and trees. Foods are the source of stored chemical energy.
To carry out the work and to perform the day-to-day activities, humans need energy in their bodies. Energy is so important for us to wake up from the bed, to carry out routine activities, to travel by walk or by vehicle, to play games, to drink water, etc.
Remember, what will happen, when you don’t have enough energy in your body. You will get tired and so you could not do any activities. After taking enough rest and consuming foods, you will be energized.
How energy is important for Non-living things?
There are many types of modern domestic equipment such as television, refrigerators, washing machines, and microwave ovens. All of which need electrical energy or chemical energy for their operation. Electrical energy is generated by burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.
Industries such as manufacturing, mining and construction use energy as raw materials for their process. In refinery industries, heat energy is used to refine crude oil.
More electrical energy is required to run huge shopping malls, educational institutions and hospitals. Any commercial buildings consume a sufficient amount of electrical energy.
Energy has a significant role in transportation. To drive a car or bike, to travel by bus or train and to fly through the air, energy in the diesel fuel is essential. Petroleum is the main source of energy used for transportation. Other sources such as natural gas, ethanol, biofuels are also used. Recently electric vehicles are emerging because of zero-emission.
Most of the electricity generation is from thermal power plants. These plants use tonnes of coal that are burnt to generate steam. In nuclear power plants, heat energy is produced in the nuclear fission reaction.
The direct energy from the sun is used for solar power generation, water heating applications, etc. It forms one of the major renewable energy sources. Such power is used for industrial and residential purposes.
Energy has huge importance in the development of a country. It is because growth in the energy sector is directly linked with the economic development of a country.
Energy and the individual
Trade-offs and decisions concerning energy affect daily lives. Personal preferences form part of energy budgets, which immediately influence energy costs.
Transport choices also have an important effect, because transport represents 28% of the global electrical power generation and uses of energy. Who will be affected by the future choices about carbon pricing and climate change when considering global warming?
The condition of environment carries implications for all of us and our environment is an issue concerning the future of the earth and the environment. The United States emits about four quarters of the total greenhouse gas emissions.
Impact of Energy Usage
Improper use of energy causes severe environmental problems to the earth. Energy consumption around the world causes air pollution, water pollution, climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, etc.
Most of the industries use fossil fuels such as coal, oil, natural gas for combustion. It is because they need thermal energy for process heating purposes. The burning of fossil fuels releases poisonous gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, sulphur dioxide(SOx) and nitrous oxides(NOx).
The transports which we use for our travel also cause an adverse impact on the earth. The vehicles emit carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, SOx, NOx into the atmosphere. These gases are the main constituent of air pollution and global warming.
Carbon dioxide emissions from the industrial sector contribute to greenhouse gases. Smaller amounts of methane, sulphur Hexafluoride(SF6), NOx and SOx also constitute greenhouse gases. These gases trap the heat from the sun and never allow it to radiate. This increases the temperature of our earth causing global warming.
The sulfur dioxide and nitrous dioxide released into the atmosphere will react with moisture to form acid rain. Acid rain has severe impacts on plants, buildings, fresh waters, soils, food products. Even humans will get affected, causing skin diseases.
Improper energy use in commercial buildings, office buildings cause the demand for electricity and cause the energy bill to rise.
Why should we conserve energy resources?
Because of the severe impacts that we discussed above, it is very essential to conserve energy. Although energy doesn’t have to be created or destroyed, it is always necessary to conserve it in order to be more thoughtful about how we use available energy in our environment.
It is important that we choose our energy sources well and pay attention to the energy we use. Improper and inefficient energy use may lead to scarcity of energy resources in the future. Also, it will also render our environment unfit to dwell in. It will become difficult for human lives to sustain on the earth.
Energy efficiency is also important in conserving energy resources. Energy-efficient appliances and building materials work a very long way to making good energy choices and also making sure your energy requirement comes from a reliable source.