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Fossil fuels

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Where do fossil fuels come from?

Fossil fuels are made in a similar way to fossils. We burn fossil fuels to get energy, and these add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Fossil fuels are also non-renewable sources of energy. 

The main fossil fuels are coal, oil and gas. Petrol and diesel are also fossil fuels, which humans use to drive cars, vans and other vehicles.  

Just like fossils, fossil fuels are made from dead plants and animals over many years. The dead material sinks to the bottom of the sea and gets covered in mud and sediment.  

Heat and pressure over time then turn them into fossil fuels.  

Wind turbines

As fossil fuels are made from living things, they contain lots of energy. This is why humans have burned them for many years for electricity and transport.  

Big factories burn a lot of fossil fuels when making things too, but many are now moving to renewable energy instead.  

Examples of renewable energy include solar power, which uses energy from the sun, and wind energy. You may have seen big wind turbines, often in the sea. These use the energy from the wind instead of fossil fuels.  

If there are a lot of wind turbines in the same area this is known as a wind farm.

Some people object to windfarms being near homes as they feel they do not provide a nice view. 

Renewable energy sources do not add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere though, and so are much better for the planet! 

Discussion point

Maybe you live near a windfarm or have seen one before.

What do you think about them being near homes?

Does the benefit (renewable energy) outweigh the cost (impact on view)?  

Discuss the benefits and costs of renewable energies with your partner.