energy source

GC: n

CT: Which Energy Source is Best?
It depends. Many alternative sources of energy are still being researched and tested. Technologies are continually being developed and enhanced to improve energy sources. Not all energies are ready for mass consumption, so you have to ask the right questions to find out which energy source does the job.
  • Is it a renewable or nonrenewable source?
  • What are the capital and setup costs?
  • What are the ongoing operating costs?
  • What size of energy storage is required?
  • How efficient is it to produce one unit of energy?
  • Can it be produced on a large scale?
  • What is the cost to the consumer?
  • What impact will it have on the environment?
Energy is lost to the environment during any energy transformation, usually as heat. Notice the heat from your computer or car after it has been in use for a while. Nothing is completely energy efficient.
What are the Sources of Energy?
Primary energy sources (meaning energy is created directly from the actual resource) can be classified in two groups: nonrenewable or renewable. Secondary sources are derived from primary sources.
  • Non-Renewable Energy Sources – Energy from the ground that has limited supplies, either in the form of gas, liquid or solid, are called nonrenewable resources. They cannot be replenished, or made again, in a short period of time. Examples include: oil (petroleum), natural gas, coal and uranium (nuclear). Oil, natural gas and coal are called “fossil fuels” because they have been formed from the organic remains of prehistoric plants and animals.
  • Renewable Energy Sources – Energy that comes from a source that’s constantly renewed, such as the sun and wind, can be replenished naturally in a short period of time. Because of this we do not have to worry about them running out. Examples include: solar, wind, biomass and hydropower. Currently, about 20% of the world’s electricity comes from renewable resources. There is a global debate as to whether geothermal energy is renewable or nonrenewable.
  • Secondary Energy Sources – Energy that is converted from primary sources are secondary sources of energy. Secondary sources of energy are used to store, move, and deliver energy in an easily usable form. Examples include electricity and hydrogen.
S: http://www.energy4me.org/energy-facts/energy-sources/(external link) (last access: 18 December 2014)

N: 1. energy (n): 1590s, "force of expression," from Middle French énergie (16c.), from Late Latin energia, from Greek energeia "activity, action, operation," from energos "active, working," from en "at" (see en- (2)) + ergon "work, that which is wrought; business; action" (see organ).
Used by Aristotle with a sense of "actuality, reality, existence" (opposed to "potential") but this was misunderstood in Late Latin and afterward as "force of expression," as the power which calls up realistic mental pictures. Broader meaning of "power" in English is first recorded 1660s. Scientific use is from 1807. Energy crisis first attested 1970.
source (n): mid-14c., "support, base," from Old French sourse "a rising, beginning, fountainhead of a river or stream" (12c.), fem. noun taken from past participle of sourdre "to rise, spring up," from Latin surgere "to rise". Meaning "a first cause" is from late 14c., as is that of "fountain-head of a river." Meaning "written work (later also a person) supplying information or evidence" is from 1788.
2. The sources from which heat, light and power are obtained.
3. They include the fossil fuels - petroleum, coal and natural gas - nuclear fission and the so-called alternative energy sources, some of which are already in use - hydroelectric power, solar energy, wind energy and biological energy sources. Some low-grade fossil fuels - oil shales and tar sands - are on the verge of commercial development. Possible future sources of energy include ocean thermal energy conversion, and nuclear fusion.
4. These terms are found, generally in the plural for they used as a generic to designate all or many sources of energy available.

S: 1. OED - http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=energy&searchmode=none(external link) (last access: 18 December 2014); http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=source&searchmode=none(external link) (last access: 18 December 2014). 2, 3 & 4. TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 18 December 2014).

SYN: source of energy

S: TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 18 December 2014)

CR: anthracite, carbon (EN), coal, energy, fossil fuel, natural gas, nuclear energy, hydrocarbon, lignite (EN), peat, petroleum, soft brown coal.


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