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Types of Energy
Primary Released from a direct source
Secondary Primary energy converted into a different form e.g. electricity from burning coal
Renewable / Non Renewable
o Can be replenished at a quicker rate than it is used
o Flow a constant energy transfer occurring
o Tidal, wind, solar, HEP
o Can run out and cannot be replaced in the foreseeable future
o Stock a limited stock which will not be replaced (in a hurry at least)
o Coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear
Carefully Managed Resources
Some resources must be carefully managed so that they are renewable
o Wood
Techniques such as coppicing and replanting ensure it is replaced at the same rate it is
o Geothermal Reservoirs
Tectonic heat turns water into steam if pumping quantity is too great, continually
pumping water into the ground will cool the ground

Natural Gas,
Oil, 33%
Coal, 17%
Nuclear, 8% Other, 2%
Primary Energy Mix of the UK
Natural Gas
Primary Energy Mix
Many countries cannot supply all their energy needs from one source (e.g. security reasons) therefore
use a variety
Amount of each resource used is displayed proportionately in an energy mix chart
Description Explanation
Over 70% of UK energy supply is oil and gas The UK has reserves of both
Since the 1970s consumption of oil has increased Discovery of North Sea Oil in 1969
Growing demand for transport fuel
Use of natural gas has decreased by 85% since

Use of coal has fallen by 40% since 1990 Closure of coal mines
Oil and gas are less polluting
Use of renewable resources has increased, but is
still lower than the EU average
Government is aiming to move towards a more
sustainable energy supply
Energy Distribution
Some countries produce a lot of energy due to large energy reserves and the money to exploit them
o Iran, Saudi Arabia large oil reserves
o China, Australia large coal reserves
o UK, Russia, Canada large oil and gas reserves
o USA, Indonesia large coal, oil and gas reserves
Some countries produce little energy since they have few resources or are unable to exploit them due
to a lack of money or political instability
o Angola politically unstable and lack of money
o Spain small fossil fuel reserves
Energy Consumption
Relationship between GDP and energy consumption
o Wealthy countries tend to consume more energy per person because they can afford to and
have access to energy intensive devices like cars
o Poorer countries consume less energy per person as they are less able to afford it, additionally,
their lifestyles do not require as much electricity
Trading Energy
Countries that are able to produce a lot of energy therefore export more
Canada, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Denmark export energy
Italy, Ireland, Spain, Japan import energy
Trans-National Corporations
o Distribute energy
o E.g. ExxonMobil
Oil and gas
Based in the USA
Largest company in the world
Operates in 200 countries
Produces 3% of the worlds oil
Production: Explores for oil and gas on every continent except for Antarctica. Oil
is extracted and sent to ExxonMobil refineries (e.g. in the USA, Norway,
Thailand, UK) for processing.
Distribution: Uses its own transportation system to transport products to
distribution centres; either their own ones or independent ones then sold to
customers and individuals for transport fuel.

Geopolitics of Energy
Energy security
o All countries are dependent on energy supplies, e.g. for transport, heating, electricity and
o Global energy use is increasing and fossil fuel reserves are decreasing, maybe leading to an
energy crisis
o The largest reserves of oil and gas are sometimes in politically or economically unstable areas
such as Russia; energy supplies are often at risk of being disrupted
o To secure supplies, agreements are made between exporting and importing regions
e.g. the EU will become increasingly dependent on imports as North Sea Oil runs out, so
it opened talks with Russia in 2000 to try to guarantee access to Russian gas supplies. In
return, Russia wanted investment into production of fuel and improved access to EU
o Where agreements cannot be reached, it can lead to conflict or the threat of conflict. e.g. the
1980 Carter Doctrine stated that the USA would use military force if necessary to protect its
interests in the Middle East and secure the free movement of oil.
o As energy consumption increases, so does the impact of energy use on the environment.
International agreements, e.g. the Kyoto Protocol, are drawn up to try and address these
problems, but too can lead to political conflict if environmental protection clashes with other
national interests, e.g. economic growth
Patterns of Energy Production, Consumption and Trade
Changes in Production
Energy production has increased in countries where new reserves have been discovered, e.g. in
Nigeria and Algeria
There have also been decreases in places that have become more politically stable, e.g. Angola
The production of energy has decreased in other countries as resources are used up, e.g. North Sea oil
production has declined since 1999, reducing production in the UK, Norway, Denmark, Germany and
the Netherlands.
Production often decreases in areas that become more unstable e.g. Sudan oil production decreased
due to the civil war between 1983 and 2005.
Changes in Consumption
China has a large population and a rapidly growing economy. As standards of living and industrial
output go up, China consumes more energy.
Other newly industrialised countries, e.g. India, Malaysia and Mexico, are also using more energy as
they develop

Pros Cons
Wind is unpredictable, therefore
amount generated varies with wind
Large numbers of turbines are required
to make a significant amount of energy
- therefore in practice takes up a lot of
They are an eyesore in the countryside
- often the most appropriate place for
wind turbines
A threat to wildlife - noisier than a car
going at 70mph, and turbines can kill
and injure birds and bats
Wind is free and often in constant
Although tall, the base of the turbine
does not take up much space, hence
land can be used for other land uses
Does not produce any pollutants once
Very low cost - as little as 0.5 pence per
kilowatt hour once going
Wind Energy
1% of the worlds electricity production
Case Study: Denmark
o Denmark has invested in wind power since the 1970s, establishing wind farms, offshore and
o Families are offered tax exemptions (no longer having to pay tax) for generating their own
o By 2004, over 150,000 households had joined this scheme
o Denmark now produces 19.7% of its electricity from wind power, the highest in the world

Biomass Energy
Organic material burnt for power or used to produce biofuel
Recently living matter
A common way of producing biofuel is to ferment sugar cane to produce alcohol which can then be
burnt. Methane and biogas can also be fermented
Case Study: Brazil
o Running the ethanol fuel programme since the 1970s
o Made by fermenting sugar cane: the rest is burnt for heating and power
o Ethanol supplies 18% of transport fuel and cars either run on ethanol, or a petrol and energy
o Decreases Brazils dependence on imported oil

Pros Cons
Large areas of land are needed to
produce sufficient biofuels, an
opportunity cost of not growing crops
in its place, leads to fuel shortages
Biomass is only renewable if carefully
Fossil fuels (NO2, soot, ash, some
carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide)
are used to process and transport
May be seasonal
Can live off people's waste, so instead
of wasting it, it can be used to create
Free or low cost inputs
Can be produced freely, independently
and remotely
Low carbon
Solar Power

Uses of solar energy
o Solar water cookers
Use solar energy to heat water, then pumped into a storage tank ready for use
o Solar cookers
Concentrate sunlight and convert it to heat energy and then trapping it to use for
o Photovoltaic cells
Convert light energy into electrical energy used in the home or sent back to the grid


Pros Cons
is released in
equipment production
PV cells are expensive
Large areas of solar panels
and sunny climates are
needed to produce large
amounts of electricity
Can be used in remote
areas, e.g. deserts
Can be equally efficient on
rooftops to be space
Pros Cons
Super expensive and
making it releases carbon
Disrupts ecosystems, and
turbines can kill aquatic
Not very productive during
neap or slack tides
A cyclical, predictable
pattern - we can predict the
efficiency at any given time
Protects the artificial
harbour from large waves
in storms
Renewable, relies solely on
the movements of the
moon and the sun - also
100% clean
Tidal Energy

Comes from the movement of tides
o Less variable; more predictable, can be harnessed using tidal barrages
o Tidal barrages are built across estuaries. As the tide flows in and out, water passes through
gates in the barrage, turning turbines that generate electricity
E.g. la Rance tidal barrage
o La Rance Estuary, Northern France
o Began operating in 1967
o Largest tidal power station in the world
o Produces enough energy for 19,000 homes
o 13m high and stretches the entire estuary
o Normal tide range is 8m, at a spring tide tidal range of 13.5m


Energy conservation

Energy can be made sustainable by conserving as much energy as possible. By reducing overall use of
energy fewer resources are used up and the environmental effects of energy use are limited, e.g.
emission of greenhouse gases

How buildings can be made more sustainable

Reducing the amount of energy needed for heating so that heat loss is reduced
o Double glazing
o Draught-proofing
o Loft insulation
o Cavity wall insulation
Installing energy efficient boilers so that less energy is lost to the surroundings
Features that help absorb and retain the suns energy, e.g. large south facing windows

e.g. St Georges College, Weybridge
o The Rocket A bio-digester
Recycles biomass (wasted food and wood choppings to name some) by digesting it so
that it can be used to lay on the ground for soil development
Uses enzymes
o Solar panels on the tennis centre
Solar panels are used for workplace consumption
Excess is fed back onto national grid
o Southcote House (accommodation) and Henderson Centre (learning facility)
Won awards for sustainability
Insulation from the ground
In the walls and windows
In the roofs
Affordable accommodation for college staff
Also key workers, e.g. policemen, nurses
o Sustainable transport
Facilities for bicycle racks
Tax on car parking places in workplaces
o Double-glazed windows with argon
Asymmetrical glass
Stops transmission of coldness
Have trickle vents to let cold air in and out and dehumidify
o Toilets
Automatic lights
Water saving flush
o Air system
No air conditioning air is controlled, requires some electricity yet considerably less
Open plan (large gaps in the floor between ground floor and first floor) to permit air to
Heavy doors stop air flow
o Eco|Driver Moderates energy and water usage and identified a significant water leak

How transport can be made more sustainable

Encouraging vehicles that need no fuel, e.g. bikes
o E.g. employers receive tax exemptions for loaning and selling bicycles to employees as part of
the Cycle to Work scheme
o Carrot
Establishing investment in public transport
o E.g. The government subsidise the Park-and-Ride scheme to reduce fuel consumption and the
number of vehicles on the road
Congestion charge
o E.g. London congestion charge was introduced in 2003
Charges drivers for entering the central zone of the city on car during normal working
Reduces congestion and increases funds for public transport
Decreased the number of vehicles in London by 21%
emissions have decreased by 20%
137m was raised
Bike use has gone up by 12% since 2003
Bus use has gone up by 6% since 2003
Hydrogen fuel cell buses
Electric buses
Hybrid fuel buses, e.g. Brazil

Sweden: Multiple approaches
o 78% of Swedens primary energy mix is nuclear and hydroelectric power
4% comes from wind power
o 1970: Oil took up 75% of the primary energy mix now oil takes up just 21.5%
Sweden consumes 15,000 kilowatt hours per person per year of energy one of
highest in world
Average Swede releases 5 tons of carbon/year, average American 19 tons of
o Wind vs. Nuclear
Sweden has had 13 nuclear reactors in operation, now only ten remain
New plants to replace decommissioned ones
o Bioenergy
Sweden is 53% forest (global average 30%)
85% of bioenergy in Sweden comes from forestry
30% of Swedens total supply industrial processes and district heating
o Fuel cells
Combining hydrogen and oxygen to produce energy only exhaust is water
More research required before this is viable technology
o Solar energy
o Wave energy
o Human power
Government wants a 20% reduction in energy use in building stock by 2020
Wants renewable energy to be 50% of national supply by 2020 (currently 48%) due to
HEP and bioenergy
Brazil: Biomass
o Materials
Use of sugar cane to make bioethanol
Flex fuel: 25% bioethanol + gasoline 75%
23% of all cars in Brazil in 2003
88% of all cars in Brazil today
Fuel wood makes biomass
o Carbon neutral
o Worlds largest exporter of bioethanol
o 84% of Brazils energy comes from renewables
o PROALCOOL scheme of 1975
All sugar cane produced was for ethanol production
Diesel vehicles banned
Subsidized ethanol
Tax incentives on ethanol powered cars
35,000 filling stations have an ethanol pump