Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Type of Electricity Production

Using Fossil Fuels

Advantages

Disadvantages

High energy density. A lot of energy may be extracted from a small amount of fuel.

Combustion products are a source of pollution eg acid rain.

Relatively cheap, easy and safe to transport.

Combustion products contain greenhouse gases.

Less expensive than other forms of energy.

Extraction of fossil fuels can damage the environment.

Can be used in a wide variety of situations.

One used up, they cannot be replaced.

Using Renewable Power

Advantages

Disadvantages

Apart from the setting up and eventually dismantling the production unit, there is no pollution.

Low energy density. Only a small amount of energy may be extracted from a large amount of the source.

No transport is required. Energy production is at site of source.

The production unit can damage the environment.

No greenhouse gases are produced.

More expensive than other forms of energy.

Can be used in a wide variety of situations.

Only available when water flows (hydroelectric) or wind blows (wind power).

Effectively infinite source of energy.

Using Nuclear Power

Advantages

Disadvantages

Very high energy density. A lot of energy may be extracted from a small amount of fuel.

A lot of radioactive waste is produced, which is expensive to store.

No atmospheric pollution is produced.

More expensive than other forms of energy.

Experience is obtained for making atom bombs.

Nuclear power stations are expensive to dismantle.

Can be started up quickly, and produces variable power as required.

One used up, the fuel source – uranium - cannot be replaced.

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