Advantages and Disadvantages of Electricity
Nature provides us humans with air to breathe, water to drink, land to move, trees to survive, and natural lighting with the sun that lightens our lives from top to bottom (that we take for granted) but what happen after the sunset. Without the sun, It's all darkness everywhere, which was lightened up by artificial light termed "electricity". As the sun is a natural source of energy and light opposite to that, electricity is an unnatural energy and a basic part of our life, also known as the flow of electrons.
Before the invention of electricity, almost 100 years ago, people used to burn fires, lighten up diya's, and use whale oil lamps, candles, and kerosene oil lamps to make visibility in the dark. Still, these could have been more efficient in lightening every area and corner. Science has solved this problem and invented a secondary energy source to lighten our every room of life. Scientists such as Benjamin Franklin, Nikola Tesla, and Thomas Edison contribute to our need for and use of electricity.
In today's era, can you imagine life without electricity for just a few minutes? A few hours without electricity wreaks havoc in our lives. Much of our work go to waste without electricity because humans depend on electronic items. These electronic items run on electricity or take electricity as an energy source. This 21st century is techno-savvy in which techno gadgets and electronic items like laptops, mobile phones, refrigerators, washing machines, television, computers, and electronic kitchen essentials like mixers, grinders, ovens, microwaves, heaters, etc., surround everyone. Even the construction of the home is incomplete without electric wiring. This is how electricity has impacted our life from birth to death.
It's a myth that electricity was particularly invented, instead, it's always been a part of nature, like all elements. It's present around us, including the rubbing of two charged materials, static electricity, discharging to the earth, or in the form of lightning. The invention of electricity proved that necessity is the story's mother. It was found that electricity could be generated by an electric generator and transmitted to the user as an electric current through wires. Electricity is a kind of energy with two points -ve (negative) or + (positive) that flow through a wire to produce electricity. "Electricity can be defined as the movement of electrons through wire producing current." Electricity can be made by various renewable and non-renewable sources such as hydro, oil, natural gas, nuclear, coal, solar, wind, and biomass.
Types of electricity
Generally, electricity is of two types:
Advantages of electricity
a. Easily accessible and produced
Using a wide variety of renewable and non-renewable source of energy in producing electricity make it easy to assemble. Everyone can access electricity.
b. Renewable source of energy
Electricity is generated by humans by various methods regularly to fulfill their electric needs of humans. Therefore, it is considered a renewable energy source as it can be produced daily.
c. Easy to manage and transport
With proper planning or management, electricity transmission is possible on a large scale over a long distance. Electricity can transport and cover long distances through mediums like wire.
d. Versatile and easy to transform
Electricity is versatile as it can be transformed into another type of energy according to user utilization. It can be converted into motion (via engine), light (lightning a bulb), and heat (lightning an electric radiator).
e. Reduces greenhouse emission
Electricity can be produced via renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, which are much cleaner and environmentally friendly. Due to this, electricity and its production process don't produce greenhouse gas emissions.
f. More efficient and convenient
Electricity is a convenient and efficient energy source, making many appliances and devices functional. It has minimal energy loss in the generation process and transmission over long distances.
g. Have lower maintenance
Once the setting of electricity is done, it should only be needed to maintain at regular intervals when electric equipment (bulb, tube light & other) is damaged with time. Electric vehicles are cheaper to maintain due to no oil changes, fewer parts to wear down, and engine less to maintain because electric cars do not have internal combustion engines.
h. It requires less labor force.
Implementing electricity requires labor, but only 2-3 hours is enough. It doesn't need a force of work.
i. No emission of waste or gases from the hydroelectricity plant
In hydroelectricity power plants, water produces electricity, and no fossil fuel or smokestacks are involved. This plant doesn't make direct greenhouse gas emissions as they don't release pollutants into the air.
j. It can be set up in many sizes.
The generation capacity of electricity can be measured in multiples of kilowatts like gigawatts(GW) and megawatts(MW). The flow of electric current can be controlled according to the user's needs. For example: About 2KW or 3 KW of electricity is used in the home, but a commercially significant amount of electricity is used.
Disadvantages of electricity
a. Carelessness in electricity can be dangerous for everyone.
How often do we get news of someone (including humans or animals) dying due to electric shock? When living beings come in contact with live electricity without safety, they get the high voltage of electric shock that may be life-taking, creating severe burns, seizures, unconsciousness, cardiac arrest or muscle spasms, and other injuries. The human body already conducts electricity, and after meeting live electricity, an electric current flows through tissues that cause an electric shock, also called electrocution. Damage depends on the amount of current, but in some cases, even a small amount of electricity can be fatal, depending on the circumstances. Current over 0.01 amp can result in painful to severe shock, or more than this 0.1 amp to 0.2 amp flow of current can be lethal.
b. Cause Injuries
An electric shock may result in injuries divided into four parts: flame, lightning, flash, and true.
c. Electricity causes fire breakout.
More than 60% of fire accidents reason are electricity on account of electric short circuits, use of non-standard appliances, carelessness, improper electric wiring, ignorance of the electric problem, overheating, overloading, illegal tapping of electric wires, and use of extensions, cables, wires, faulty outlets (receptacles), circuit breakers or improperly grounded sockets. All these reasons are behind fatal accidents and lead to serious fires. Places having electric wiring are most prone to fires due to electric short circuits.
d. Electric power plant creates pollution.
Electric power plant creates water, land, and air pollution that impact the health of living beings. Coal-based power plant emits harmful gases and chemicals such as nitrates, sulfates, mercury, and secondary particulate material (formed by SOX emission). Thermal power plants (coal and oil-fired electric generating unit) emit harmful pollutants like acid gases, non-mercury metallic toxins, mercury, and organic air toxins such as dioxin.
e. Impact on health
Electricity power generated from power plants causes severe damage to health. The emitted chemical pollutants impact the different areas or organs of the human body that cause diseases. For example:
f. Cost of construction
Electricity or electric work in construction can charge about 10%- 12% of the total construction cost, excluding land costs. Construction and maintenance of power plants need money.
g. Electricity is more expensive than gasoline.
It's true gasoline is cheaper than electricity, as electricity can be charged or have a standard rate set by the state or central government. Electricity can be generated with gas and fossil fuel as gas burning creates heat and steam that produce electricity. We can see that electricity is more expensive than petrol or diesel in terms of maintenance and use. Electric vehicles have fewer service stations, and installing a level 2 charging station can be costly compared to gasoline because gas stations are available and affordable. A rather electric vehicle battery has a long shelf life (10 years), but its replacement cost can be hard on the pocket. Gas used in the kitchen is cheaper than electric conduction, which uses electricity for everything.
h. Electric vehicles are not emission-free
Electric vehicles are worse for the climate than gasoline, petrol, or diesel vehicles because of the power plant emission. These electric vehicles have no tailpipe emissions and a smaller carbon footprint.
i. Loss of species
Acceleration in human activities results in biodiversity loss (at 100-1000 times prehuman level). Electricity generation is one of the major reasons that pollute a large amount of freshwater during electricity production. Globally electricity generation has risen, including thermal power (77% of the total) and hydropower (16%) in 2018. During the thermodynamic conversion of heat to produce electricity, a large amount of freshwater held in reservoirs affects aquatic biodiversity. It may result in species loss by disturbing their habitat and way of living. It does water pollution or brings drought to some areas that may hold various aquatic or land species.
Electricity is a second source of energy that can be received from the conversion of another energy source, such as natural gas, nuclear power, coal, and other natural resources. Electricity is a basic part of nature, one of our most widely used forms of energy.
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