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Physics - Lizzie > Energy Resources > Flashcards

Flashcards in Energy Resources Deck (31):

Non-renewable sources

Have a finite supply and will eventually run out (e.g. coal, oil, gas)


Renewable resources

Have an infinite supply or are replaced faster than they are used.



Concentrated sources of energy.


Fossil fuels

Coal, oil and gas, created in processes that take millions of years. Coal is plant matter. Oil is created from skeletons of sea creatures. Gas evaporates of oil reserves and gets trapped in rocks. Heat is released when fossil fuels are burnt.



A 'greenhouse gas' thought to be responsible for global warming.



A gas which when combined with water forms acid rain.


Nuclear fuels

Uranium and plutonium. These undergo nuclear fission and release heat naturally. Not burnt.


Nuclear power stations

Built near a constant supply of water (often coast) in isolated areas. They are very big and have safety concerns.



When a nuclear power station is shut down in a safe way, which takes years and costs tens of billions of pounds.



Energy types that aren't dependent on the weather or other conditions.


Which types of energy resources are non-renewable?

Coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear fuels (nuclear is not a fossil fuel - it is uranium and plutonium).


What are the advantages of burning fossil fuels?

• They release a lot of energy quite cheaply.
• It doesn't rely on the weather (unlike lots of renewable energy sources), so it's reliable.
• There are lots of fossil fuel power stations already so we do not need top build more and spend more money on new technology.


What are the disadvantages of boring fossil fuels?

• It releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which contributes to global warming and climate change.
• Burning coal and oil also releases sulphur dioxide, which causes acid rain and harms trees, soil, rivers, and buildings.
• They will run out eventually and we will not have an energy resource.


Which renewable energy sources can drive a turbine directly?

Geothermal energy, wind power, hydroelectric power, and wave power.


What are the advantages of nuclear reactors?

• No greenhouse gases produced.
• Lots of uranium left in the ground - not going to run out very soon.


What are the disadvantages of nuclear reactors?

• Longer to start up the fossil fuel power stations and expensive to build and maintain.
• Processing uranium before using it causes pollution.
• Risk of radioactive leaks - death and harm - and there will be radioactive waste.
• Expensive and takes a long time to be decommissioned.


What are the advantages of geothermal energy?

• Free and renewable.
• No real environmental problems.


What are the disadvantages of geothermal energy?

• Costs a lot of money to drill down deep.
• Costs a lot of money compared to the amount of energy got out of it.


What are the advantages of wind energy?

• Cheap to run and wind is free.
• Wind turbines are tough and reliable.
• No polluting waste produced.
• Wind is renewable.


What are the disadvantages of wind energy?

• Spoil the view - lots are needed and cover a lot of ground to replace one coal-fired power station.
• Wind might not be strong enough to generate power and it's impossible to increase the wind if there isn't enough.
• Can be noisy and disrupt those living nearby.
• Expensive to set up a wind farm.


What are the advantages of wave power?

• Renewable.
• No pollution.
• Cheap to run and waves are free.


What are the disadvantages of wave power?

• Spoil the view.
• Can be hazardous to boats.
• Unreliable - waves die out when there is little wind.
• Costs a lot to set up initially.


What are the advantages of solar energy?

• Renewable.
• Cheap to run and fuel is free.
• No pollution.


What are the disadvantages of solar energy?

• Very expensive initially and use a lot of energy to manufacture.
• Quite expensive to connect to National Grid when vamped with the value of the electricity generated.
• Only generate energy when it is sunny.


What are the advantages of tidal energy?

• No pollution.
• Renewable.
• Reliable.
• Cheap to run and fuel is free.


What are the disadvantages of tidal energy?

• Prevent free access by boats.
• Spoil the view.
• Alter wildlife's habitat.
• Quite expensive to set up.


What are the advantages of hydroelectricity?

• No pollution.
• Renewable.
• Able to be released when there is increased demand (water can be released) - generally reliable.
• Cheap to run and fuel is free.


What are the disadvantages of hydroelectricity?

• Looks ugly when dried up.
• Initial costs are high,
• Valley is flooded so can destroy the habitat of some species.


What does a turbine do?

Transfers kinetic energy from spinning the turbine into electrical energy (using a generator).


How is energy generated from fossil fuels?

They are burnt and heat energy is released, which produces steam to power a turbine and convert it into kinetic energy.


How is energy generated from nuclear power?

Nuclear energy is converted into heat energy as steam to power a turbine.