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Renewable Energy 

Explore the role and types of renewable energy, defined as an energy source that can be replenished by natural processes. Renewable energy sources include solar panels that convert energy from the sun, turbines that convert wind to energy, and dams that generate hydropower by controlling the flow of water. Geothermal heat (generated from heat sources in the earth’s surface), wave power, and wood are also renewable sources of energy.

Renewable energy sources are often touted as being more environmentally friendly than the other two major sources of energy: fossil fuels (such as coal, crude oil, and natural gas) and nuclear power. Environmentalists criticize reliance on the finite resources embodied by fossil fuels as well as the environmental degradation and pollution caused by their extraction, while many are concerned about the safety and long-term use of nuclear power, which produces radioactive material as a byproduct. Evidence that the burning of fossil fuels contributes to global warming also has some people advocating for its reduced use. Sometimes concerns regarding the use of fossil fuels are tied to crude oil price increases or the fear of being too dependent on oil-producing countries.

Critics of renewable energy argue that fossil fuels can provide energy at lower costs than renewable sources. There is also concern about the environmental impact of renewable energy. For example, the building of dams to generate hydropower results in the creation of floodplains and the rerouting of water sources dramatically impacts local human and wildlife populations. Critics of solar and wind energy note the exceptional amount of space taken up by panels and wind turbines, which negatively affects wildlife, particularly birds in the case of turbines.

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Renewable Energy Resources

Gale provides resources that support research, including databases and eBooks.


Gale databases have renewable energy resources to support research.

Gale eBooks

Gale offers a variety of eBooks covering a wide range of renewable energy topics, including renewable energy impact, electricity, renewable resources, and more. Users can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross search to pinpoint relevant content. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download articles.

  • Climate Change: Our Impact on Earth: Renewable Energy, 1st Edition

    Climate Change: Our Impact on Earth: Renewable Energy, 1st Edition

    KidHaven Publishing (Rosen)   |   2018   |   ISBN-13: 9781534524484

    What is renewable energy? Why is using it good for the earth? Questions such as these are answered in this stimulating text supporting an essential elementary science curriculum topic. Young readers learn that renewable energy is generated from renewable natural resources, including sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat. This accessible text also delves into how people can make simple changes in their lives to help fight climate change by using forms of renewable energy. Full-color photographs alongside the text give readers a clear understanding of what renewable energy is and what it looks like in the world around us.

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  • It Changed the World: Invention of Electricity, 1st Edition

    It Changed the World: Invention of Electricity, 1st Edition

    Bridges  |   2020   |   ISBN-13: 9781731629890

    For thousands of years, humans survived without electricity. They employed fire, solar energy, water, wind, and animal power to get things done. Peoples’ lives changed dramatically when Thomas Edison and other engineering pioneers figured out how to harness the power of electricity and put it to use for just about everything in modern life. This book provides readers with a before-and-after look at the way the world has changed because of electricity. Each book in the NGSS-aligned series, It Changed the World, introduces readers to some amazing inventions. Interesting facts and vivid photos show how these inventions changed, and continue to change, the lives of people around the world. Each book includes a glossary, comprehension questions, and an extension activity for further learning.

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  • How Our Choices Impact Earth: Renewable Resources and You, 1st Edition

    How Our Choices Impact Earth: Renewable Resources and You, 1st Edition

    Rosen Central   |   2018   |   ISBN-13: 9781508181583

    This captivating book teaches readers that renewable energy is energy captured from the sun, wind, water, earth's own heat, and biomass. Even further, it examines the issues related to consumption, in general, and steers readers, in a practical way, toward becoming more conservation minded. Readers learn how to eco-energize at school and make green choices at home. The book also includes a captivating 10 Great Questions to Ask a Science Teacher and a Myths and Facts section to help readers become proactive on the issue.

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  • Science in a Flash: Electricity, 1st Edition

    Science in a Flash: Electricity, 1st Edition

    Gareth Stevens Publishing  |   2018   |   ISBN-13: 9781538213957

    Even though most people use electricity every day, it's important to understand how it works and respect its power. From the basics of current and circuits to how electricity is generated, this book covers many concepts included in the science curriculum using relatable examples, straightforward language, and colorful diagrams. Each chapter simply defines key terms and gives thorough explanations, and asks the reader questions and riddles to consider as they learn about renewable energy, electricity and magnetism, static electricity, and more.

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