Reading Comprehension Practice Test 22
In these times of worldwide skyrocketing energy costs, experts are turning to perhaps the only energy source that is still immune to price fluctuations: the sun. Economic necessity appears to be largely responsible for the rapidly growing acceptance of solar heat as an alternative source. Electricity has been a clean and versatile form of energy that continues to grow in importance for lighting, heating and cooking, and for powering our increasingly automated and computerised society. The demand for electricity is expected to grow more in future than the average trend in the past. A mix of energy sources is required as hedge against shortages in any one area, and the electricity supply companies are taking a second look at renewable electricity generation technologies, particularly those based on the sun. Every 15 minutes, the sun delivers to the earth radiant energy to meet all mankind’s power needs for a full year. But harnessing this energy is complicated by two properties of sunlight its diffuseness and its variability with the time of day, season and weather conditions. These factors pose formidable technical challenges for the efficient conversion of solar radiation into bulk, utility-grade electric power. Nevertheless, solar technologies are attractive to utilities because they are environment-friendly and offer a low regulatory risk, limited capital risk and less lead time.
1. Experts are impressed with solar energy technologies because
(1) they are not considered environment-friendly.
(2) they have lower capital risk.
(3) they cannot be employed in less time.
(4) they are subject to fluctuations in weather conditions.
2. Which one of the following challenges is not associated with the harnessing of solar energy?
(1) Fluctuations in weather conditions.
(2) Diffused nature of sunlight received by the earth.
(3) Alternate sequence of day and night.
(4) Presence of water on the surface of the earth
3. An antonym of the word ‘formidable’ is
4. Identify the word closest in meaning to ‘complicated’.
5. Why are power-generating companies looking at mixed energy options?
(1) The sources of energy are getting scarce with an increase in demand.
(2) Prices of electricity are controlled by the Central Government.
(3) Alternative sources of energy are absolutely free of regulations.
(4) They feel that they can tap the entire solar energy that reaches the earth.
6. The reason experts are looking at the sun as an energy source is that
(1) other sources of energy are depleting fast
(2) the demand for radiant energy has increased
(3) other sources of energy are comparatively expensive
(4) other energy forms pollute the environment
7. Why is the sun considered to be an important source of alternative energy?
(1) It is available free of cost.
(2) It is available everywhere in the world.
(3) It is not as clean and versatile a source of energy as electricity.
(4) It can satisfy human energy requirements provided it is tapped properly.
8. In the phrase “as hedge against shortages”, the word ‘hedge’ means