Meeting future energy needs

Jodie Goodacre
Mind Map by , created almost 6 years ago

A-Levels Geography (Energy Security) Mind Map on Meeting future energy needs, created by Jodie Goodacre on 12/24/2013.

Jodie Goodacre
Created by Jodie Goodacre almost 6 years ago
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Meeting future energy needs
1 Managing future energy needs is a daunting task
2 The world population is growing and nations which have been relatively low consumers of energy per capita in the past now seem to have an increasing appetite for energy in a variety of forms
3 Global Challenge
3.1 With the world's primary energy needs set to grow by 55% by 2030, and electricity consumption expected to double over the next few decades, managing future need is a global challenge, perhaps one of the most significant of our time
3.2 The International Energy Authority (IEA) estimates that $22 trillion of new investment will be needed by 2030
3.3 At the same time, there is the global challenge of climate change and the need to develop cleaner sources of energy in order to improve, or at the very least not worsen, the health of our environment
4 Stick and Carrot
4.1 Emission controls
4.1.1 Other signatories include the rapidly industrialising countries of Brazil, China and India, but they have no obligation beyond monitoring and reporting emissions
4.1.2 It came into force in 2005, and by May 2008 it had been ratified by 182 countries
4.1.3 Of these, 36 developed countries are required to achieve specific reductions in their greenhouse emissions, amounting to an average of 5% against 1990 levels over the 5 year period 2008-2012
4.1.4 The Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997, proposed emission controls at the international level for the first time, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to prevent human-induced climate change
4.1.5 The refusal of the world's second largest greenhouse gas emitter, the USA, to ratify the agreement - alone among developed countries - substantially weakened the effect of the protocol
4.1.6 In 2007, 13 countries agreed in principle to a global cap-and-trade system that would apply to both industrialised and developing countries The hope was that the system would be in place by 2009
4.1.7 It was not universally welcomed by developing countries that need to increase their energy consumption in order to develop and are currently not very fuel-efficient
4.2 Emissions Trading
4.2.1 Emissions trading is an arrangement allowing countries that have made greater reductions in their carbon emissions than set out in the Kyoto Protocol to sell their surplus savings to countries that are over their targets
4.2.2 This has created a new commodity in the form of emission reductions or removals
4.2.3 Since carbon dioxide is the principal greenhouse gas, the system is often described as carbon trading
4.2.4 Carbon emissions are now tracked and traded like any other commodity
4.2.5 This is known as the 'carbon market'
4.2.6 It is a controversial system - it may be a good arrangement for more environmentally conscientious countries, but it can tend to let less committed countries off the hook
4.3 Green Taxes
4.3.1 In some countries taxation measures, known as 'green taxes', have been introduced with the aim of cutting the use of natural resources and encouraging waste recycling
4.3.2 In the UK these include new vehicle excise duties (VED) that tax vehicles according to their level of carbon dioxide emissions
4.3.3 Owners of so-called 'gas-guzzlers' or 'Chelsea tractors' pay more, as do those with older, less fuel efficient vehicles
4.3.4 Other ideas for taxes aimed at reducing energy consumption include removing stamp duty on the sale of carbon neutral homes, raising the duty on petrol and diesel, and raising air passenger duty on flights out of the UK
5 Radical new Technologies
5.1 Greater use of renewable energy and advances in energy technology may be one answer to a more secure energy future
5.2 However, all the new technologies that have emerged so far have their own advantages and disadvantages
5.3 Offshore wind turbines
5.3.1 The fact that offshore turbines are less visible and audible than onshore wind farms is an argument in their favour in terms of public opposition
5.3.2 In the UK, plans to meet up to one-third of future energy needs with offshore wind farms have led to objections from the Ministry of Defence on the grounds that they could interfere with radar and pose a threat to national security
5.3.3 Building wind turbines offshore costs at least 50% more than on land, but wind speeds at sea are generally double those on land, so offshore turbines can generate more electricity
5.3.4 Wind blowing at 10 ms-1 can produce five times as much electricity as a 5ms01 wind
5.4 Carbon Storage
5.4.1 Whatever the future global energy mix proves to be, coal is unlikely to go away
5.4.2 On a world scale, it is cheap, abundant and can often be locally sources, which makes it an attractive commodity
5.4.3 China has accounted for over 60% of the global growth in coal consumption since 1997
5.4.4 Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) involves 'capturing' the carbon dioxide released by burning coal and burying it deep underground
5.4.5 This technology potentially allows clean electricity to be produced from coal
5.4.6 No one knows whether CCS will really work and whether the carbon dioxide will stay trapped underground
5.4.7 It is expensive
5.4.8 A handful of pilot CCS projects have been conducted, but so far only one such project, in Spremberg, Germany, is linked to electricity generation
5.5 Geothermal Energy
5.5.1 In the Philippines 25% of the electricity supply is generated from underground heat
5.5.2 This renewable geothermal heat is free, inexhaustible and available day and night, due to local geology
5.5.3 The heat is used to turn water into steam, which generates electricity in turbines
5.5.4 Geothermal energy has significant advantages over other renewable resources
5.5.5 There is no need to cover several square kilometres of land surface with with turbines or photovoltaic arrays
5.5.6 Many parts of the world have the 'hot rocks' that make recoverable heat possible
5.5.7 However, extracting subterranean heat is not easy
5.5.8 In many locations the heat is too deep to be extracted economically, and the local geology can create problems
5.5.9 The impermeable nature of granite and other igneous rocks make it technically difficult and expensive to extract the heat using water
5.5.10 Current research is focused on finding ways of forcing open fissures to let the water flow from the injection hole to its final exist point, where it can be recovered in a super-heeated form
5.6 Biofuels
5.6.1 At a time of growing global demand for food and concerns about food security, growing crops for use as biofuels is controversial
5.6.2 There are three main types of biofuel: Crops, Trees and Algae
5.6.3 Grasses and trees need a lot of processing, but the whole of their biomass is converted into fuel - mostly ethanol
5.6.4 Aquatic algae are trickier to grow, but produce oil that requires less refining before it becomes useful biodiesel
5.6.5 A number of challenges must be overcome in order to improve the efficiency and acceptability of the biofuel industry
5.6.6 New crops need to be developed, tailored specifically for fuel rather than food production
5.6.7 The supply chain for biofuels can be costly, making them uncompetitive with traditional fossil fuels
5.6.8 A range of small and large scale bio0refineries is needed to improve logistics within the supply chain
5.6.9 The competition between food crops and biofuel crops for agricultural space needs to be addressed, especially where it is likely to encourage large-scale deforestation and food shortages
6 Sustainability
6.1 Offshore wind farms, carbon capture and geothermal energy all seem to promise a high degree of sustainability, but much remains to be done to make them economically viable
6.2 The last technology considered above, biofuels, is the most feasible of the four, but its sustainability is questionable in terms of its impact on the environment and human wellbeing
7 The Future
7.1 We need to spare a thought for the future, when oil and gas finally run out
7.2 In the future the energy needs of the world might have been met by a diversity of greener energies
7.3 Countries might be less reliant on imported supplies and making greater use of domestic sources

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