No energy resource can renew energy, by the First Law of Thermodynamics: energy cannot be created. Because solar energy is abundant, it is sometimes assumed to be infinitely renewable. The solar energy driving the wind and solar panels on Earth has to be replaced from the sun, by the Second Law of Thermodynamics: heat can only flow from hotter to colder places. The only hotter place that can replace the solar energy converted on Earth is the Sun. If this was not so, the Earth would cool as incoming solar energy was converted, eventually, to low entropy heat, at ambient temperature, by the Third Law of Thermodynamics. Thus wind and solar technologies do not access renewable energy. Nor do any other technologies, including hydro.
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What is an energy supply?
Energy is the capacity to do work. Your supply will do work for you when it supplies you with electrical energy.
What is electrical energy?
It is caused by the movement of electrons from one place to another and is the work done by the moving streams of the electrons or charges. The commercial or practical unit of energy is the kilowatt-hour (kWh).
How is electrical energy supplied?
- objects: hot, moving, charged, sprung, radioactive
- fossil fuels: heat engines; turbogenerators
- renewable energy technologies
How well do different technologies convert input energy to electricity?