Factors affecting energy use

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  • Factors Affecting Energy Use Now and in the Future
    • Affluence
      • Energy consuming goods
      • Travelling more
      • Building houses
      • Laws of supply and demand set energy prices
      • Not being able to afford energy hinders social development
        • Difficult to transport goods, pump water, preserve foods and drive equipment
    • Relative cost of energy
      • In some countries energy is cheap
        • Locally abundant
        • Easy to extract
        • Not heavily taxed
        • Energy conservation is low priority if energy is relatively cheap
    • Level and Type of Industry
      • Industrialised countries use lots of energy in processing and transporting goods
      • Energy used in construction, heating and lighting of buildings and in manufacture of machinery
      • Heavy primary industries that extract and chemically process materials use most energy
        • Aluminium is a very energy-expensive metal to extract, requires electricity for electrolysis
        • Nitrate fertiliser manufacture requires Haber process
    • Social and Environmental Awareness
      • Countries such as Denmark and Norway have always had problems with energy supplies so there is a cultural tradition to use energy resources carefully
      • In the UK, abundant coal helped with the development of a society that started the industrial revolution, but also uses energy wastefully
    • Climate
      • Buildings in areas with cold winters need more heating while those in very hot areas require cooling
        • Good building design can minimise the amount of energy that is needed
      • Windy weather increases heat losses, whereas sunny weather increases passive solar heat gains


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