4 Energy – Part D “Energy and Human Influences”

Syllabus Aims…

4.18P describe the energy transfers involved in generating electricity using:

  • wind
  • water
  • geothermal resources
  • solar heating systems
  • solar cells
  • fossil fuels
  • nuclear power

4.19P describe the advantages and disadvantages of methods of large-scale electricity production from various renewable and non-renewable resources.

Energy

Energy store

Uses

Power output

Impact on environment

Fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gases)

Chemical

Transport, heating, electricity generation

High

Releases CO2 (causes global warming)

Nuclear fuels

Nuclear

Electricity generation

Very high

Radioactive waste (needs to be disposed of safely)

Biofuel

Chemical

Transport, heating, electricity generation

Medium

Carbon-neutral so low impact

Wind

Kinetic

Electricity generation

Very low

Take up large areas that could be used for farming, people say windmills spoil their view

Hydroelectricity

Gravitational potential

Electricity generation

Medium

Local habitats are affected by the large areas that need to be flooded to build dams

Geothermal

Internal

Electricity generation, heating

Medium

Very low

Tides

Kinetic

Electricity generation

Potentially very high but hard to harness

Tidal barrages can block sewage which needs to go out to sea

Sun

Nuclear

Electricity generation

Potentially very high, but hard to harness

Very little

Water waves

Kinetic

Electricity generation

Low

Very low

Useful Prefixes…

1 kW = 1,000 W

1 MW = 1,000 kW or 1,000,000 W

1 GW = 1,000 MW or 1,000,000,000 W

1 TW = 1,000 GW or 1,000,000,000,000 W

Energy source

Approximate output per station (GW)

Coal power station

≈ 1.5

Gas power station

≈ 0.5

Nuclear power station

≈ 1.3

Wind turbine

≈ 0.004

Tidal barrage

≈ 2

Solar farm

≈ 0.1

Resources…

 

Useful Videos…

 

 

 

 

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