A. homes and building. b. DISADVANTAGES ·


energy is energy obtained from natural processes that are unceasingly replaced
and never runs out. Renewable resources are replaced over time but even these
must be conserved so that they are not used up faster than the environment can
replace them (Maczulak, 2010). This type of resources is also known as Green energy
or sustainable energy. Energy is everywhere in the environment. There are five
commonly used types renewable energy sources namely, solar energy, wind energy,
hydropower, biomass and geothermal. This research paper will focus on four of
these energy types.

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     This is energy obtained from the sun.
There are two different ways of using solar power, either electrically or
thermally. Solar electric power converts the energy obtained from the sun to
generate electricity and this is known as the active solar system while solar
thermal power uses insolation absorbed without any significant mechanical
pumping and blowing, this is known as the passive solar system.

         Photovoltaic(PV) process is the process
used in converting sunlight into electricity, PV processes produce electricity
directly from solar cells (semi-conductors with p-n junction). When the
semiconductors are heated, they produce electrons which are pushed across the
device and produce current.

          Solar heating and cooling (SHC) are
about thermal energy. Here, the energy obtained from the sun can be used either
to coo or heat a device that is being powered. The main component of an SHC is
the collector, the collector absorbs the energy and transfers it to the fluid.
Solar heating can also be used for some domestic purpose or even in commercial
industries. The main reason this system is adopted is to limit the use of
natural gas and fossil fuels. Concentrating solar power(CPS) uses mirrors as
their focus. The solar energy absorbed then turns on the steam engines and
turbines which later generates electricity.

panels are a type of PV energy, with the difference that solar panels use all
kind of light to generate electricity and not only sunlight.




It is pollution free.

Renewable clean power every day.

Low maintenance since a solar power can
last up to thirty years.

can be used to heat water, power homes and building.


High initial costs for material and installation.

Needs lots of space as efficiency is not
100% efficient yet.

No solar power at night so there is a need
for a large battery bank




is the process of making use of the kinetic energy gotten from moving water to
produce power which may be used directly for mechanical purpose or to generate electricity.
Hydropower is the oldest and most used source of sustainable energy, it is
considered as renewable energy because the sun regularly restores the water
cycle. There are three components in a hydroelectric power plant which are,
flowing water (dam or upstream river), turbine and generator. Gravitational
energy gives kinetic energy to water causing it to flow, the turbine is
connected to the generator via a shaft. When the flowing water strikes the turbine,
it triggers it to start turning eventually causing the shaft to turn, the shaft
being on makes the generator to start working hence generating electricity.
There are two types of turbines

§  Reaction
turbines, where the turbine is totally implanted in the fluid and powered from
the pressure drop across the device.

§  Impulse
turbines, where the flow hits the turbines as a jet in an open environment with
the power deriving from the kinetic energy (K.E) of the flow.




Hydropower is fuelled by water, so there is no

Once a dam is constructed, the electricity
produced is reliable.

Dams usually last for a long period of
time hence can produce electricity for many years.



Dams are very expensive to build.

Construction of hydropower can lead to
disparities in ecosystems and landscape change.

The turbines and dams that are built on
the rivers or streams disturbed the natural flow of the fish and other wildlife
that lives in the area.






               This is energy
obtained from the wind. Wind is produced by the uneven heating of the earth’s
surface which causes the movement of air from areas of high to areas of low
pressure. Wind turbines are devices which rotates and can be used to generate
electricity or used directly for milling, they are also modern windmills. They
operate by using the kinetic energy (K.E) of the wind, which pushes the blades
of the turbines and spins a motor that converts the K.E into electrical energy.

            There are two types of
wind turbines. The horizontal axes which have two to three operated upwind
blades facing into the wind and the vertical axes, designed like the eggbeater-style
Darrieus model.






It causes no pollution.

Wind is free.



Wind farms can cause noise pollution.

May spoil the view of people living near them.

The amount of electricity generated depends on the
strength of the wind.

No wind, no electricity



      It is the heat from the earth.
Heat passes through the solid submarine and land surface mostly by conduction
and sometimes by active convective currents of molten magma or heated water. It
is the only renewable source created naturally by the earth itself. A geothermal
heat pump system is made up of an air delivery system, a heat exchanger and a
heat pump.

           In the winter season, the heat pump
takes out heat from the heat exchanger and sends it to the air delivery system.
In summer the process is reversed, also, heat removed from the indoor during
summer can be used to provide a free source of hot water.

There are three types of geothermal energy technologies.

o   Geothermal
electricity production. Generating electricity from the earth’s heat.

o   Geothermal
direct use. Producing heat from hot water within the earth geothermal heat

o   Geothermal
heat pumps. Using the shallow ground to heat and cool buildings.


energy is usually of low quality, so it is best used directly for buildings.






With geothermal energy, there are no
shortages or other sorts of problems which sometimes occur with other types of

provide base load or peak power.

After installation, no mining or transportation
activity is necessary.


Greenhouse gas below Earth’s surface can
potentially migrate to the surface and into the atmosphere

Construction of geothermal plants can affect the
land stability.

A mind must be taken to watch the heat and
not to abuse it because if the heat is not taken care of properly, it can cause
a meltdown or other issues where the energy is not properly distributed or



energy is obtained from static stores of energy that remain underground unless
released by human interactions (Twidel and Weir,2006). These energy sources are
limited meaning they cannot be replaced over time. Most non-renewable energy
sources are fossil fuels (coal, petroleum and natural gas), with carbon being
their main element. These types of resources are also known as finite supplies
or brown energy.


Coal is a black or brownish sedimentary rock formed
from the decay of dead buried organisms. To create energy, coal needs to burn. Peat is the lowest rank of coal and anthracite the
highest, coal is ranked according to the number of carbonization it has gone
through. Carbonization is the process that ancient
organisms undergo to become coal (Society
and Society, 2017).  There are two ways
of obtaining coal either by underground mining or surface mining. Underground mining is used when the coal is
located below the earth surface (about 300m deep), and surface mining is used
when the coal is near the earth surface.

        To produce electricity, coal is being
burned in large boilers at high temperature to produce high-pressure steam
which is then passed into a turbine. The steam pushes the blade of the turbines
causing the shaft to spin at a fast rate, the steam is condensed an passed back
to the boiling chamber where it is heated again. The shaft movement causes the
wire coils and magnet in the generator to be switched on and this magnetic
charge produces electricity (Thayer and Grossweiler, 2010).





Coal produces a high amount of energy.

It is a reliable source of energy.

It is affordable.



It releases large amounts of toxic gases into the

It is non-renewable.

Coal mining is dangerous and ruins the environment.



PETROLEUM (crude oil)

                           It is a
dark, viscous liquid formed deep in the earth over a million years ago by
organic materials (Thayer and Grossweiler, 2010). It is usually found
underground in areas known as reservoirs. Crude oil can be found on land or
under the ocean floor. In oil drilling, a structure called
derrick is built with pipes going down to the reservoir and bringing the oil to
the surface. The process by which electricity is generated from crude oil is like
that of coal. Oil is burnt at high temperatures to produce high-pressure steam
which pushes the blades of the motor in the turbine, which then engages the
wire coil and magnet in the generator and the magnetic charges then produce

                    Crude oil is
not only used to generate electricity, a large amount is converted into
gasoline used in cars. Crude oil can also be processed into liquid products
such as rubbing alcohol or solid products such as nail polish, wax, shoes,
water pipes and many other things.



It is relatively inexpensive to extract.

It is a reliable source of energy

It is the most efficient source of fuel



Emits greenhouse gases.

It is dangerous for the environment and a
dangerous job to do.

It is non-renewable.




gas is colourless and odourless in its pure form, it is made up mostly of
methane and can be found in underground deposits. The difference between
natural gas and other types of fossil fuels is the fact that natural gas
releases a low number of toxic products into the atmosphere. Gas is extracted by
using high water pressure to split apart the rocks underground and this process
is known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking when the rocks are too hard acid
is being used. Natural gas can be used to generate electricity or for cooking
and heating. It can also be converted into the liquid called liquid natural




It is relatively inexpensive to extract.

It is cleaner than the other fossil fuels.

It releases only carbon dioxide and water
vapour which are the same gases being sent out by man when breathing, thus healthier
than burning coal.


It is non-renewable.

Fracturing rocks can cause

High-pressure water and chemicals can
reach other sources such as drinking water and contaminate them.





           The united states of America(USA)uses
petroleum, natural gas, coal, renewable energy, and nuclear electric power as
primary energy sources. Electricity is a secondary source generated from the
primary ones. In 2016, the primary energy consumption was about 97.4
quadrillion (1015, or one thousand trillion) Btu.
Btu stands for British thermal unit. The shares for the total primary
consumption according to the consuming sectors were:

Electric power—39%






              The sector that is responsible
for high energy production in the USA is the electric power sector, the four
other sectors are consuming the energy. 2016 total energy production in the USA
was about 83.9 quadrillion Btu, which was equal to about 86% of U.S. energy
consumption.  The three main fossil fuels
(coal, petroleum, natural gas) have been dominating the energy production in
the USA for over a century and in 2016, they accounted for about 78% of the
energy produced. Though they have been leading the energy production process,
over the years there have been changes such as:

There has been a decline in the coal
production ever since it reached a peak in 2008, this is due to the decrease in
coal consumption for electricity production.

The crude oil production declined till
2008 then rose again due to new technologies facilitating its extraction but
then in 2016, it experienced a decrease due to low global crude oil prices.

Renewable energy production and
consumption reached a record in 2016 of about 10 quadrillions Btu.
Hydroelectric power production in 2016 was about 12% below the 50-year average,
but increases in energy production from wind and solar helped to increase the
overall energy production from renewable sources. Energy production from wind
and solar were at record highs in 2016.

Natural gas also experienced an increase
in production over the years and reached a peak in 2015.




energy consumption reached a peak in 2001then started falling with time. As
coal shares were reducing around1984, the use of petroleum increased due to low
sold fuel production. The solid fuel shares recovered around 1987 before
gradually decreasing at the same time, the North Sea gas was increasing its
shares from 5% to 43% in 2010. Recently, renewable shares increased from 1% to
7.4% in 2016 As USA, the United Kingdom(UK) obtain energy from fossil fuels,
renewable energy and nuclear. Most of UK electricity generation comes from
natural gas (about 30% in 2015), coal (about 22%)and a very small amount come
from oil (about 1%).The volume of electricity generated either by coal or gas
differs each year depending on their respective prices. In
2015, global coal production has decreased, and the UK is planning to close the
remaining coal fire stations by2025. Renewable energy
(solar, wind, biomass, hydro, wave and marine) accounted for about 25%
electricity generation in 2015 and is expected to keep rising each year.
21% of the UK electricity comes from nuclear reactors.





                     In 2015, nuclear energy
production was the most important by size accounting for about 28.9% of total
energy production in Europe. This production was particularly high in France
(82.5% of total energy production). Renewable energy accounted for more than
one quarter (about 26.7%) of the total energy production, and the rest was
divided amongst the fossil fuels with coal being the highest (18.9%) followed
by natural gas (14%) and lastly crude oil (9. 8%).Over the years, production of
renewable energy increased leading to decrease in production of other sources
of energy in Europe, this causes Europe to rely on importation of fossil fuels
in other to meet consumption demands. In 2014 petroleum products represented
40% of total energy consumption, followed by electricity and natural gas with
22% each. Direct use of renewables (not transformed into electricity such as
geothermal, hot water production solar thermals) accounted for 8%, solid fuels
(mostly coal) and derived heat accounted for 4% each.






             The main sources of energy in Cameroon are
petroleum, coal and hydropower, biofuels and waste. 75%of Cameroon’s electric
power is obtained from hydropower schemes. Regardless of the huge hydroelectric
power scheme, electricity is not available in all parts of Cameroon. Only 20%of
the population is having access to the national grid. Apart from hydropower,
there are other fuels constituting about 11% of Cameroon’s electricity.


Energy Volume 76, April
2015, Pages 560-565




Cameroon, there is a great potential of energy sources such as solar power,
biomass, crude oil and rivers. Hydropower has been the main source of energy
for a long time and still, then, its efficiency rate is below 55% and the
maintenance is

very low.
In other to reduce the gap between energy demand and supply
Cameroon needs to further exploit its renewable sources (solar power, wind
energy, biomass, geothermal) by enforcing the country’s energy policy. If
Cameroon strengthens its renewable energy policy, it can boost private and
foreign investment to help for the development of those resources. Though
Cameroon shows high potentials of different renewable sources, solar power may
be the best option since the temperature is quite high there and solar power is
can be a long-term investment yielding a high profit. for these to be possible
the government needs to take the necessary measures and sensitize the




                            The United
Kingdom(UK) needs to increase the use of renewable energy to provide
electricity, heat and transportation. By doing so, the UK will reduce their
carbon dioxide emission, tackle climate change, reduce overall use of fossil
fuels and decrease reliance on importation of energy making them have some
security on the energy supply. Onshore and offshore wind energy can help the UK
fulfil about two third of the country’s electricity required, hydroelectric
power and bioenergy can also be of great help. Biomass, heat pumps and solar
energy can provide heat.





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