Aims of this lesson – to have learnt: Question 3 - What might the world’s energy future be? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/earth/future-of-energy/8013547/World-energy-map-is-constantly-changing.html Energy Security and the Future
Evaluate the different options for meeting the rise in energy demand:
Assess Cost/benefit for a range of options
Business as usual
Impact on climate change
Local feelings about energy sources
From the Spec: 3.1: There is uncertainty over both global energy supply in terms of reserves (e.g. peak oil and gas) and demand (economic growth rates, conservation of resources, a switch to renewable sources, population change) Investigate: A range of energy supply and demand projections Economic projections based on the projections
For each factor consider what the effect would be on global energy if (a) it went up, (b) it went down, (c) it stayed the same e.g. if China and India’s economies keep growing, slow down or stay the same
There is an increasing realisation that any downturn in energy supplies could trigger an economic collapse. For instance, oil:
There has been a massive increase in global oil consumption (including the emerging economies)
We may have reached “Peak Oil” – this will lead to declining production and therefore rising prices. There is disagreement over ‘peak oil’ – some scientists say 2005, some 2015 and some 2020.
As oil runs out in some places, production will be concentrated in a small number of (increasingly powerful) countries
OPEC and Russia are therefore increasingly able to hold places to ‘ransom’
From the Spec: 3.2: There are different responses to increasing energy demands – such as ‘business as usual’ reliance on fossil fuels or the adoption of alternative sources such as nuclear, or wind power. Each has costs and benefits, such as future climate change, and local opposition. Weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of contrasting energy options in terms of: Technical feasibility Economic impacts Environmental impacts (inc waste products)
Consuming countries will rely more heavily on gas/ oil imports from the middle east and Russia and as Indian and Chinese demands increase further, the import amounts will surpass those of today's largest importers
After 2015 gas and oil demand will outstrip supply- world will have to increase alternative energy usage and use more efficiently
Over 70% of the increase in energy demand would come from LDCs/ BRICs– reflecting rapid economic growth and population increase
Sir Nicholas Stern predicts Climate Change will cost 5-20% of world’s GDP Whereas limits to greenhouse gas emissions just 1%
A multi-energy solution involves meeting future energy demands from a mixture of renewable, recyclable and non-renewable sources.
Rich fuel mix necessary to ensure energy security and to maintain an affordable supply for both individuals and industry
Nuclear power could be a key component of this future – CONTROVERSIAL
Wind also being favoured
– also has its opponents
Cost to set up Cost to maintain Production potential Environmental negatives Environmental positives Socio- political economic positives Socio- political/ economic negatives Wind Power Nuclear Power
Other renewables: Hydro-power – been harnessed for centuries – Three Gorges dam etc Solar power increasingly used in the Mediterranean and USA Make sure you look into them
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8055344.stm UK smart meters
Consumers benefit from being able to manage and reduce their energy bills, and, crucially, their household's carbon footprint “ Consumers benefit from being able to manage and reduce their energy bills, and, crucially, their household's carbon footprint “ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8040236.stm video
Automakers are looking into the next generation electric or hybrid cars. The main resource for the battery would be lithium, already used in smaller electronic devices and far more efficient and longer-lasting than regular batteries.
Almost half the world’s lithium is found in Bolivia, and as The Seattle Times notes, Bolivia is reluctant to give up lithium resources too easily .
Bolivia and the US have had thorny relations as the democratically elected socialist and indigenous leader, Evo Morales, has nationalized oil and gas companies , much to the disappointment of the US, and with general support from his population as he attempts to slowly develop the extremely poor nation.
This means that the European Union and Japan have been trying to court Bolivia in the hopes they can invest in lithium extraction.
But as this PBS video highlights, geopolitics are again the concern; Bolivia fears that others will exploit it for rich resources, just as most resource-rich nations have been plundered/exploited in the past. It may be that this time the exploitation may not be as violent as during imperial and colonial times, but resource-rich/economically-poor nations like Bolivia are understandably hesitant to give up a valuable resource without local benefits.
So it seems that Bolivia is trying hard to understand the resource more and possibly develop local capacity so that it is not just a raw resource provider, but can go further and process the resources, with much if not all proceeds helping local populations: