P6 future-energy-generation


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P6 future-energy-generation

  1. 1. Lesson 9: Future electricity generationWhat you need to know: 1. The issues surrounding electricity generation in the future. As you may have seen in the media there is currently a debate on how electricity should be generated in the future. Currently most of the electricity generated in the UK (and the world) comes from the burning of fossil fuels. In lesson 8 you have seen that this has advantages and disadvantages, but governments all over the world now acknowledge that mankind needs to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels because: 1. The burning of fossil fuels produces CO2 adding to the problem of global warming and climate change. 2. The supply of fossil fuels will not last forever, and soon the supply will run out. 3. Some countries need to import fossil fuels from other countries meaning they are dependent on other countries. What happens if this country stops selling you coal or gas? This is actually a very serious problem and recently there have been concerns that countries such as Russia may use energy supplies as a way of getting other countries to do what they want. It may even lead to energy wars! In your exam you may be asked about the issues surrounding the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation. Because of the problems with the use of fossil fuels, governments are now looking for alternative sources of energy to generate electricity. The UK government is looking at renewable energy sources and nuclear power for future electricity generation. Both of these energy sources have their advantages and disadvantages. Governments need to look at the advantages and disadvantages of these different energy sources to decide how energy demands can be met in the future. © Studydoctor 2009
  2. 2. Nuclear power Advantages Disadvantages  Releases little CO2  Produces nuclear waste which is very difficult to dispose of.  Is the only alternative energy source currently available that  Building a nuclear power station can supply all the UKs energy costs billions of pounds. It also demands. takes a long time to build a nuclear power station.  In the UK nuclear power stations have been used to generate  Costs billions of pounds to electricity for 30 years and there decommission a nuclear power have been no safety issues. station.  If an accident happens it can have a devastating effect. The Chernobyl disaster is an example.  Uranium needs to be imported as it is not available in the UK.Renewable energy sources Advantages Disadvantages  Produces no CO2 when  Very expensive. generating electricity.  Energy source is not always  No danger from the renewable constant. The sun isn’t always sites. shining, the wind doesn’t always blow!  No other pollution.  Some people think that wind  The UK has lots of wind and tidal farms are an eyesore. resources to generate electricity.  Can’t meet all the UK’s energy  Quick and easy to build. demands.  Energy source will not run out. In your exam you may be asked to balance the advantages and disadvantages of using different energy sources to generate electricity in the future. © Studydoctor 2009
  3. 3. Recap: 1. Governments acknowledge that mankind needs to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels for a variety of reasons. 2. Alternative energy sources have advantages and disadvantages. 3. Governments need to balance these advantages and disadvantages to decide what energy sources should be used in the future to generate electricity.Further information: 1. Here is a piece from the guardian newspaper discussing the issue of fossil fuels supplies: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/oct/22/gas-russia-gazprom-iran- qatar 2. Here is a good overview of the Chernobyl disaster: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/guides/456900/456957/html/nn1page1.stm © Studydoctor 2009