Coal is a type of solid fossil fuel, which means it is mostly made up of the element, carbon or is made up of hydrocarbons. Coal is an organic compound because it is made up of the remains of plants and animals that died millions of years ago. Peat is the first phase of coal formation, then come the actual coal types; lignite, bituminous coal, and anthracite. When the three types of coal are burned, they give off heat energy which can be used to convert water into steam that generates electricity. The advantage to coal energy is that while burning it gives off little or no smoke that pollutes the environment. However the disadvantage to coal is that it is found under ground and it is limited and will run out soon.
Oil is a liquid fossil fuel that formed from decaying plants and animals that died in shallow seas. The petroleum pumped from a well is separated, or refined to make a variety of products like for example plastic. Oil or petroleum is found in pockets in the ground under the crust. The good thing about oil is that it is an easily transported liquid and that it is a clean fuel. The disadvantage is that during transportation, there is a risk of oil spills that cause huge environmental disasters.
Solar power is an energy source from the sun. The sun's powerful energy is made up of hydrogen gas and it is changed or converted to helium. This process releases energy into space and this energy travels in the form of waves. These waves can be seen as light rays and can also be felt as heat rays. Solar energy is collected and stored as heat by using solar panels. This type of energy is useful because sunlight is very abundant and because this resources gives off absolutely no pollution at all. The problem with solar energy is that it produces electricity in small amounts at a time and that depending on the sun is very risky since it is not a sunny day everyday.
The wind is indirect form of solar energy, and is always being renewed by the sun, since it is another form of solar energy.