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Similarly, coal and uranium were once useless rocks. Something may become useful or useless for human needs as a result of changes in the technology of resource extraction and processing
Whether something is classified as a resource depends on technology, economics, cultural beliefs, and the environmental effects of finding and using it.
The maximum rate at which a renewable resource can be used without impairing or damaging its ability to be renewed is called its maximum sustainedyield. If this yield is exceeded a potentially renewable resource is then converted to a nonrenewable resource.
Recyclinginvolves collecting and remelting or reprocessing a resource, whereas reuse involves using a resource over and over again in the same form.
The resources pass through various stages of development before they are actually available. The resources held actually in stock are called Actual resources. Even the actual source of resources may not be possible to be used to their full. The portion that can be used profitably with the help of available technology is termed as Potential resourcs. The size and quantity of a potential resource may change with changes in technology and time.
A nation's natural resources often determine its wealth and status in the world economic system, by determining its political influence. Developed nations are those which are less dependent on natural resources for wealth, due to their greater reliance on infrastructural capital.
For example, the United States used coal as an export in the early 1900s, and also as a main resource fuel in key industries for production. Eventually, as transportation costs went down with time, minerals used as resources became commodities and were traded at world prices.
In recent nears, the depletion of natural capital and attempts to move to sustainable development have been a major focus of development agencies. This is of particular concern in rainforest regions, which hold most of the Earth's natural biodiversity - irreplaceable genetic natural capital. Conservation of natural resources is the major focus of Natural Capitalism, environmentalism, the ecology movement, and Green Parties. Some view this depletion as a major source of social unrest and conflicts in developing nations.
Sometimes people have resources and they don’t use it or they think that they don’t have!
Energy from the Sun — in the form of insolation from sunlight supports almost all life on Earth via photosynthesis, and drives the Earth's climate and weather.
Highest insolation areas
Its application is spreading as the environmental costs and limited supply of other power sources such as fossil fuels are realized.
Check Serpa Portugy
An aerial photograph of 52,000 photovoltaic modules that began generating electricity at one of the world's largest solar power plants in Portugal earlier this year.
Credit: Business Wire
Solar Box Cooking–Traps the sun´s energy in a insulated box
Solar cooking is helping many developing countries, both reducing the demands for local firewood and maintaining a cleaner environment for the cooks.
Solar Daylighting– Use natural daylight to provide illumination
Insulation ( light )
Photovoltaics– devices or banks of devices that use the photovoltaic effect of semiconductors to generate electricity directly from sunlight
NOTE: Until recently, their use has been limited because of high manufacturing costs.
Photovoltaics panels cells in a yatch
Photovoltaics bank cells
Power Towers– Know as 'central tower' power plants or 'heliostat' power plants (power towers) use an array of flat, moveable mirrors (called heliostats) to focus the sun's rays upon a collector tower (the target). The high energy at this point of concentrated sunlight is transferred to a substance that can store the heat for later use.
*The Stirling engine is a type of heat engine which uses a sealed working gas (i.e. a closed cycle) and does not require a water supply.
*The Van Allen belts consist of an inner belt composed primarily of protons and an outer belt composed mostly of electrons. Radiation within the Van Allen belts can occasionally damage satellites passing through them.
Indirect solar power involves multiple transformations of sunlight which result in a useable form of energy:
* Petawatt(1015) ** Terawatt(1012)