Top 5 Energy Resources – Which One is the Best?


Shenin Rahman, Writer

There are many different types of energy resources, but this will be shortened down to only 5, this article however will be long. The following five are solar power, nuclear fission (not fusion), natural gas (coal and oil), and hydroelectricity. These will be based off of three categories:


  • Cost 
  • Functionality 
  • Impact on environment 


Let’s start off with solar power. Polysilicon, for example, takes into account maintenance, depreciation, materials, and metallurgical grade Si. Another is that the batch process is very slow so it can be mostly 

tor turns moving past the conductors to conduct electricity and conduct a voltage. Hydroelectricity does not emit emissions, but it can affect the characteristics of that river and cause organisms such as fish from migration or change water temperatures. Hydroelectricity also produces emissions just by manufacturing, releasing greenhouse gases from aquatic systems by the decomposition of biomass. They disturb fish migration and could possibly be killed/injured from the hydropower turbine

expensive at times. For functionality it is pretty easy to set up, solar power can store for a very long time and can operate to 60% capacity. The solar cell has a process allied the band gap energy and so it loses 70% of the radiation energy. The impact on the environment does seem to do good as it does not produce air pollution or greenhouse gases. Despite lithium ions history based on field testing it is shown to have more experience with this type of battery making it safer. However, these batteries cannot be recycled, most of them. These go through the smelting process and are energy intensive, recyclers are out of business due to the number of companies that choose mining out of recyclability, these types of issues are the reason why researchers are actively studying this problem finding better ways. Besides this solar panels have a relatively good impact on the environment. 


Next is nuclear fission, nuclear power has a rough history considering the Fukushima incident in Japan and other nuclear power incidents from Russia, France, and others back then. Nuclear fission now uses less uranium than it did before, thorium salts is now a key leading power source. In terms of cost nuclear 

power is still relatively expensive, from safety regulations to discount rates. For functionality, it is a very complex process and takes careful managing,  but materials like thorium are also just as dangerous as uranium. Nuclear fission is not as complex as nuclear fusion. For the impact on the environment it does not produce as much carbon dioxide which is good. It allows us to solve problems like access to power in desolate areas.  

In 2019, national average sales for coals altogether was $30.93 per short ton,  the highest spike of coal being in 2012. Coke producers in 2012 were the highest price, coal is determined by transaction and the different types of coal. Functionality is easy since the coal smelts easily and the ash goes to an ash disposal. The impact on the environment is heavy, not only does it show a lethal amount of carbon dioxide but it has harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone, and mercury can cause harm to pregnant women as well as causing chronic respiratory diseases and different types of cancer such as lung cancer. The ash from fossil fuels contaminates groundwater (95%). The cost of heating oil is about $2.44 per gallon and $2.15 per gallon from gasoline, the functionality of oil is very easy to use. The crude oil goes through a process of separation, conversion, treatment, then storage. During the treatment process the refinery technicians try to perfect the gasoline blend, it takes into many considerations when mixing with gas. As for the impact on the environment it does very little, it harms oceans through oil spills and explosions contaminating the soil and the water. This hurts marine animals and can cause several side effects when covered in oil such as hypothermia, inhalation, skin exposure, ingestion, etc

The last is hydroelectricity, the installation cost ranges from $1,000-$5,000 per kilowatt for a conventional one.  Pumped storage ranges from $1,010-$4,500, this is only for installed costs.  As for functionality hydroelectric power is made first from the 

hydraulic turbine, converting water into mechanical energy then converting it into electricity. Then the electromagnets (field poles) turn on whenever the ro

So, which one’s the best? Well there’s not a definite answer as more research needs to be made. However, nuclear fission probably is the best one, but research from that field is still yet to be done. Each energy resource has its own unique feature, and no resource is perfect.