A-Level Notes > Monmouth Comprehensive School A-Level Notes > Geography Notes

Sustainable Energy Notes

This is a sample of our (approximately) 30 page long Sustainable Energy notes, which we sell as part of the Geography Notes collection, a A* package written at Monmouth Comprehensive School in 2012 that contains (approximately) 135 pages of notes across 10 different documents.

Learn more about our Geography Notes

The original file is a 'Word (Docx)' whilst this sample is a 'PDF' representation of said file. This means that the formatting here may have errors. The original document you'll receive on purchase should have more polished formatting.

Sustainable Energy Revision

The following is a plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Geography Notes. This text version has had its formatting removed so pay attention to its contents alone rather than its presentation. The version you download will have its original formatting intact and so will be much prettier to look at.

G4: GEOGRAPHY REVISION Theme 4: Sustainable Energy Supply What problems are associated with the supply of energy?
→ Uneven distribution of resources
→ Areas of surplus and deficiency
→ Consumption of energy closely linked to development Factors affecting energy supply: Physical

Deposits of oil, gas and coal found in a limited number of locations (geological factors) Renewables are restricted by source availability E.g. relies on weather and environmental variables (tidal power relies on high tidal flow)

Economic

• Issues of accessibility and cost of extraction influence the speed of development E.g. Open cast mining = cheaper than deep mining

• In developing countries, FDI is essential to the development of energy resources (TNCs prefer to invest in politically stable environments)

• Exploitation depends on current energy prices (e.g. oil)

• Availability of developed technology can make resources economically viable Political

Countries wishing to develop nuclear need permission from authorities (fear of nuclear warfare development) HEP sites needs agreements from countries involved (located along the source) Government policy plays a major role in responding to the Kyoto Protocol and other agreements Cost of research and development = significant factor for renewables (NICs struggle to gain access to technology) Public perception is significant Energy conservation is an attraction (require political support)

Energy security Definition: Uninterrupted access to reliable sources of supply, at affordable prices, with extraction and utilisation not having an undue impact on the environment

Risks to energy security
→ Physical (exhaustion of reserves, natural disasters etc.)
→ Environmental (Protestors, local nimbyism - 'not in my backyard' etc.)
→ Economic (fluctuations in price etc.)
→ Geopolitical (political instability) Energy security depends on:

• Domestic fossil fuel reserves

• Domestic renewable potential

• Domestic energy mix

• Import pathway mix Impacts of energy insecurity:

• Price and payment disputes

• Pirates

Terrorism Political issues Technical interruption to production Producers supply simply runs out Natural disasters

Ways to control energy security:

• 'Carrot and stick' measures

• Develop new sustainable technologies Energy Security Index Uses 3 components to classify the countries:

• Availability

• Diversity

• Intensity

Energy resources

COAL Basic information:

• Fossil fuel

Relatively politically stable

25% of global energy supply

Problems:

• Large amounts of CO2

Consumption expected to increase

Contributes to climate change

Non-renewable

Air pollution

Benefits:

• Cheap fuel

Possible solutions:

• Carbon capture technology
 SUSTAINABLE? NO

NATURAL GAS Basic information:

• Fossil fuel

Leading market in Europe and Eurasia

Major source of electricity generation

Lots of resources in Russia

Benefits:

• Burns cleaner than other hydrocarbon fuels (oil and coal)

• Requires small amount of water (but this is polluted and put back into water supplies) Problems:

• Large amounts of CO2

Pollution

Acid rain

Costly

Price increase

Lack of secure supply - political differences

Not easy to store/transport

Kyoto Protocol - moving towards natural gas (cleaner fuel)
 SUSTAINABLE? NO

OIL Basic information:

• Fossil fuel

Huge technological advancements (extraction not environmental protection)

Non-renewable

Benefits:

• Easily extracted (currently)

• Used worldwide

Problems:

• Becoming more expensive

• Production costs rising as the resource reduces

• Oil spills

• Huge amounts of pollution (whole process from extraction to use)

• Geopolitical tensions (Middle East - War in Iraq?)

• Lack of alternatives
 SUSTAINABLE? NO

NUCLEAR Basic information:

• Nuclear fission

• Generates electricity

• Many countries moving towards nuclear ( esp. France)

• Non-renewable ( may be reversed with fuel reprocessing)

Benefits:

• Lower pollution levels than fossil fuels Problems:

• Huge risks with storage and plants (e.g. Chernobyl and Fukashima)

Natural disasters pose an added risk

Pollution from plants

Expensive to build plants

Costly to decommission

WIND Basic information:

• Renewable

• Wind farms (offshore and onshore)

• Capturing natural energy

• Growing market (China's capacity keeps doubling)

Many debates over the safety of nuclear
 SUSTAINABLE? YES

Many incentives Consumes no fuel Only small areas unavailable for use

Problems:

• Danger to wildlife (mainly birds)

Eye-sore

Interrupts aerial and radio signals

Benefits:

• Creates jobs

• Produces no CO2

• Positive effect on air we breathe

• Needs tiny amounts of water

• Avoids risk of spills/radiation

• Low on-going costs

Perceived loud noise

High variability in production

HEP Basic information:

• Renewable

• Capturing natural energy

• Dams built

• Used worldwide

 SUSTAINABLE? YES

Dams attract tourists

Problems:

• Produces CO2 and methane Eco-system damage

Unattractive dams

Benefits:

• Low operation costs

Technological challenges (physics issues of flow)
 SUSTAINABLE? YES

How and why is the demand for energy changing?

Information from the Resource Booklet:

America, Canada and Western Europe have excessive intake Sub-Saharan Africa below healthy calorie intake (Healthy = 2,100) Similarities between calorie and energy consumption

Figure 3 - indicators for food, energy and development

Germany has best/highest in

the

everything apart from percentage of commercial energy from renewable sources, which Brazil is significantly higher in WHY?  HEP

Kenya lowest in everything

More developed = more reliant on oil

Reasons why for the figures - common sense! Think about levels of development and the DTM

Measures of development

Gini highlights uneven wealth distribution

Happy Planet Index
-

Scores nearer to 100 = better

-

Combines environmental impact with human well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which people live long and happy lives

Figure 12 - Future energy demands in South Africa

Economy growth since 1999

Annual 4% growth

Global companies outsourcing to SA

Growth benifited industry
-

Added value to raw materials Lucrative opportunities for processing of iron, carbon steel etc

LEDC's export unprocessed raw materials
-

If they can process them, they gain more

-

Development if they sell processed raw materials

-

ISSUE  technology

More energy required to power industrialisation

Increasing affluence is increasing demand too

What do we use energy for?

Industry

Leisure and recreation

Business

Domestic

Transportation

Manufacturing

ICT

Does the demand for energy differ globally?
LEDCs:

• Lower demand = less leisure

• Production energy used

• Higher demand in urban areas

• Still resultant of fossil fuels Examples of demand:

• Japan has none of its own natural resources

• Asian countries per capita use least energy (Africa not on graph)

• USA per capita = highest energy demand Economic:

• All countries demand is rising

• World energy consumption increase of 57% between 2004-2030 predicted

• Need to import energy to meet demands = cost increasing (e.g. UK)

• Reliance on other countries undermines energy security

• Economic growth depends on energy

• Leisure and social activities require energy

• NICs = massive increase in energy use

• BRICs/LEDCs = increase in consumption as they develop Social:

• LEDCs need energy to develop

• 2 billion without access to electricity

• 75% of rural households depend on firewood for cooking

• Entertainment requires energy Technological:

• Car ownership growing continuously

Globalisation, trade and transport

Energy transition model Identifies a number of stages they develop economically from economic take-off, to high mass

that countries pass through as traditional societies, through consumption

****************************End Of Sample*****************************

Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Geography Notes.