Flashcards in Topic 9 Deck (30):
Define renewable, recyclable and non-renewable energy:
Renewable - Flow resources that do not run out and can be restored.
Recyclable - A resource that can be reused (i.e waste products)
Non-renewable - Finite resources that will eventually run out
Give an example of a non-renewable, recyclable and renewable energy source:
Renewable - HEP, solar energy, wind energy
Recyclable - Nuclear energy, biofuels
Non renewable - Coal, natural gas, oil
Give two ways that mining can affect ecosystems:
- Surface mining destroys large areas of vegetation and soil to allow the miners to reach the minerals/ore, which lowers biodiversity and affects the water cycle of the area.
- Forests are cleared to make space for roads to allow access of machinery and export of minerals/ores from the area.
- Machinery used to excavate large areas run on fossil fuels and emit carbon dioxide, further contributing to the greenhouse effect and climate change.
What impact does onshore drilling have on the environment?
- Strips the land around of vegetation to allow space for machinery, lowering biodiversity and affecting the water cycle of the area.
- Oil spills can harm wildlife and plants, either killing them, reducing mobility or preventing them from reproducing and feeding.
- Extracting oil can cause methane to leak from underground, contributing to the greenhouse effect and therefore global warming.
Describe the environmental impacts of using renewable energies:
- Some renewables cause sound and visual pollution, such as wind energy as they are considered an eyesore to the landscape and people nearby have to live with the noise they generate.
- Most renewables require lots of space to be cost effective and therefore habitats for local wildlife are built on.
- Renewables can kill wildlife by flooding (HEP), reflecting light (solar) and hitting birds (wind turbines)
Describe three factors that affect access to energy:
Climate - Areas with a warmer climate that receive more sunlight energy (nearer the equator) can harness solar power more effectively.
Landscape - Areas with consistent, steady winds (coast, high altitude) are suitable for wind turbines whereas rarely windy places would gain little from them.
Geology - Areas that used to be in warm areas or are still in warm areas can have fossil fuels buried in sedimentary rocks which formed millions of years ago. Countries on plate boundaries can also harness geothermal energy.
Give one way that development affects energy consumption:
Whilst a country has low levels of development, the demand for energy is low as it is a mainly agricultural society. However, as it develops and technology advances a better quality of life is expected, with more luxuries available and therefore demand for energy for phones, cars etc.
Give two reasons why oil consumption is increasing:
- More countries are developing and need oil to fuel there demand for energy (people are buying more energy intensive items such as cars) and industrial booming age (secondary sector is rapidly growing with the economy but needs power to keep up).
- Large developed countries have a higher standard of loving with more luxuries which use higher grades of technology that require more power as well as more buildings/homes to power
Describe three factors that affect oil production:
- The country needs to have the right equipment and technology to both extract and refine the crude oil.
- As reserves in certain areas shrink the production decreases.
- Some countries only produce oil to satisfy the energy demands of their country rather than to export and so they don't produce as much as they could with the size of their reserves.
How do diplomatic relations affect the supply of oil?
In order for other countries to get hold of this oil they must trade with the handful of countries that have major reserves but if they are generally disliked by them then they may get higher prices or no trade at all. In turn, this affects the amount of oil this country will have to use, reducing its supply. Furthermore, war in oil producing countries causes undersupply and oil prices will rise, making trade more expensive and therefore reducing other countries supply (vice versa with oversupply).
What affect do recessions have on oil prices?
Recessions, like the global financial crisis of 2008, slow economy and industry and as economic and industrial activities slow down, the demand for oil decreases and so too does the price.
What is an oil reserve? What is the difference between a conventional and unconventional energy reserve?
- Oil reserve: the amount of recoverable oil with today's technology.
- Conventional energy reserves are easily and cheaply extracted oil and gas whereas unconventional energy reserves are exploited using kore expensive methods and require specialist technology, meaning it takes longer.
Name two economic benefits and two environmental costs of exploiting conventional energy reserves in isolated areas:
- Can make money by reducing energy imports and exporting excess energy to other countries. Oil and gas companies can invest in the area, bringing well-paid jobs to the local people.
- Land may be cleared of trees to make way for pipelines and roads, disrupting fragile ecosystems and reducing biodiversity. Isolated areas can be polluted by the extraction/exportation and this can pollute the soil and water.
How does fracking affect the environment?
- Land must be cleared to build drilling pads for fracking, destroying animal habitats and disrupting ecosystems.
- Chemicals used in fracking liquid can pollute groundwater/drinking water, sometimes making it flammable.
Describe the environmental impacts of extracting energy from tar sands in ecologically sensitive areas:
-Lots of land is required, devastating habitats and reducing biodiversity because organisms have less living space and places to find food.
- Without proper management, the byproducts of processing tar sands can pollute water supplies as the liquid waste contains lots of harmful chemicals.
Name two economic benefits and two environmental costs of exploiting unconventional energy reserves in isolated areas:
- The oil and gas can be exported and sold to other countries for profit as well as being an energy source to fuel your own countries development.
- Local water supplies can be polluted by chemicals used in either extracting (fracking liquid) or processing these gases and oils. Moreover, the space required to set up these operations causes destruction of habitats and biodiversity.
What is the difference between energy conservation and energy efficiency?
Energy conservation is the reduction of our lifestyle to reduce how much energy we consume (e.g: switching off the lights) whereas energy efficiency is making products waste less energy when powered (having LED lights instead of classic bulbs).
Explain how homes can be made more energy efficient:
- Insulating the walls and roof better so they let less heat escape.
- Double or even triple glazing the windows to reduce heat loss.
- Energy efficient light bulbs.
- Replacing your boiler with a more efficient model.
- Installing new, more controllable storage heaters.
- Fit better controls so that heating is only provided when needed.
Describe how transport can be designed to conserve more energy:
- More public transport so that more people get around at lower energy costs.
- Hybrid cars which use diesel and electric power to increase efficiency.
- Engine manufacturers are making more efficient engines in response to new laws/rising energy costs.
How does reducing fossil fuel usage reduce carbon footprints?
As we reduce the combustion fossil fuels we reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced. Furthermore, less fossil fuels are extracted as there is a reduced demand for them, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by machines used to extract it. Since our carbon footprint is a measure of greenhouse gas emissions per person this will therefore shrink our carbon footprint.
Give advantages and disadvantages of using biofuels:
- Biofuels are carbon neutral and don't release as much carbon dioxide as fossil fuels. Some biofuels come from waste products so using biofuel also reduces the amount of waste produced.
- Growing crops for biofuels causes deforestation, requires a lot of water and reduces the amount of crops being grown for food. Furthermore, sources of biomass must be managed sustainably otherwise they will run out.
Give advantages and disadvantages of using wind energy:
- Wind turbines don't release any greenhouse gases whilst they operate and are relatively cheap.
- The amount of energy produced varies as wind is unpredictable. The building of wind turbines produces greenhouse gases and some consider these turbines to be an eyesore, let alone the consistant noise pollution. Furthermore it is expensive to transport the energy from offshore wind farms to where it is needed.
What are the benefits of replacing fossil fuels with renewables?
Renewables will not run out and can therefore be a sustainable energy source for the future. Moreover, they do not produce greenhouse gases, meaning that the damage to the planets environment is restricted as we reduce global warming and climate change. Though not always the case, some renewables can be cheaper that the money required to extract fossil fuels (e.g: building oil rigs).
Describe the advantages of hydrogen fuel:
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and is a clean source of energy as when burned it only has a byproduct of water. As well as this, as hydrogen can be extracted from water (as hydrogen is rarely found un-bonded) it means that the power source isn't restricted to one area of the world.
What are two outlooks on future energy use and how do they differ?
Business as Usual - We do not change our current fuel sources and continue extracting fossil fuels as we have in the past.
Move to Sustainability - We try to gradually reduce the amount of fossil fuels we use/extract by making investments into renewable energy sources to make future energy more sustainable than fossil fuels.
What do TNC's think about future energy use compared to environmental groups?
TNC's - Continue business as usual because investment into renewable energy is expensive and energy prices will likely increase because of it, increasing the companies costs.
Environmental Groups - Move to sustainability because by burning and extracting fossil fuels we are contributing to global warming and damaging the planet's environment by killing plants and animals.
What do consumers think about future energy use compared to the government?
Consumers - Mixed opinions because while they prefer energy costs to be cheap and the power source reliable (as usual) it would be unreliable in the future as fossil fuels start to run out and people are becoming more aware of the consequences of fossil fuels (move).
Government - Mixed opinions as the government is being pressured by consumers and environmental groups to take action to protect the environment. However, since fossil fuels are generally cheaper and more reliable in short term, as well as the concern that renewables won't boost development as much as fossil fuels, makes some favour business as usual.
What is the difference between your carbon footprint and ecological footprint (i.e: what do they measure)?
Carbon Footprint - The amount of greenhouse gases you emit throughout our lifetime, whether that be through your actions or what you consume (buy).
Ecological Footprint - The amount of land required to support your lifestyle, such as your home and what you have bought (e.g: if you buy beef it comes from a farm, how much land was required to make it).
Give two factors used to calculate carbon and ecological footprints:
Food - How much you eat (requires land to grow and growing of cattle releases greenhouse gases), how much you through away (food waste) and whether you eat locally produced food.
Lifestyle - How much you buy in the way of clothes and electronics per year compared to how much recycling you do.