A2 Edexcel Geography ENERGY SECURITY (Contested Planet)

Summary of energy security for geography A2 contested planet

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(1) Energy Security
1.1. Energy supply, demand and security
Energy supply ­ the availability of desired physical or chemical resource available for use domestically, industrially, etc.
e.g. to provide light or heat
Energy demand ­ the human demand for certain resources which may or may not be available
Energy Security ­ the protection of production and delivery of an energy resource so that people are not disadvantaged
due to its loss
1.1.1. Types of energy source
Humans have become more reliant on energy since the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th Century, this may include:
Cooking food
Surfing the web
85% of global energy consumption was from fossil fuels in 2007. This dependence is derived from the extensive use of
them merely a few hundred years ago (in comparison to the 10,000s years humans have been in existence). Before the
Industrial Revolution, most power sources were renewable, e.g. water wheels, windmills and wood (biomass).
Renewable Non-Renewable Recyclable
Wind turbines (0.3%) Coal (25%) Biomass (4%)
Solar photovoltaic cells and Oil (37%) Biofuels (0.2%)
passive solar (0.5%) Gas (23%) Nuclear Power (with
Wave power Unconventional oil and coal, reprocessing of fuel) (6%)
Tidal Power e.g. tar sands, heavy oil, oil
Hydroelectric power (HEP) shale, lignite and peat
Geothermal (0.2%)
These resources result from a flow of There is a finite stock of these These resources have a renewable
energy from the sun or Earth's resources which will eventually run stock, which can be replenished with
interior. out careful management
The environmental consequences of using the three different types of energy resources:
1. Renewable ­ produce no carbon dioxide and do not directly contribute to atmospheric pollution
2. Non ­ renewable ­ emit carbon dioxide during combustion, and are known to be the cause of global warming
3. Recyclable ­ biomass and biofuels emit carbon dioxide, reabsorbing this when they are grown, they are
potentially close to being `carbon neutral'
Carbon neutral - successfully balanced the carbon footprint with carbon offsets, thereby negating the environmental
Nuclear power ­ these stations do not emit carbon dioxide but there are significant environmental concerns about the
radioactive uranium fuel, and the long-term problem of disposing nuclear waste, e.g. as seen in the Chernobyl disaster of
1.1.2 Distribution

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The physical geography of a location largely determines the direct access to energy resources. Where reserves of coal,
oil and gas are, is purely a matter of incidence: an accident of millions of years of geological processes from the remains
of fossilised living organisms.…read more

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Energy Use
The mix of energy resources that a country uses are picked due to a number of factors
Physical ­ availability, e.g. North Sea natural gas convenience contributed to a `dash for gas' in the early 1990s
Public perception ­ what people think is a huge factor in what resource countries use, e.g.…read more

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Growth is expected to be 0.7% per year in the developed nations of the world, but in the emerging economies of the
BRICs and other such nations, growth is supposed to exceed 2.5%. Coal use increased by 17% per year from 2002-2005
in China as the country tried to meet the exponential demand for power. These projections convey the increased
reliance on fossil fuels (particularly in NICs) rather than a switch to the renewable alternatives or nuclear.…read more

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However, developments for a planned Nord Stream pipeline should increase the energy security of supply in northern
Europe, but the southern South Stream and Nabucco pipelines run through some politically troubled areas and the risk of
insecurity to these lines is relatively high.
The dominance of Russia in the 2006 and 2009 cut offs has worried Europe somewhat.…read more

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­ 70,000 angry lorry drivers blockaded the Franco-Spanish boarded leading to panic buying in the shops
as supplies of food dwindled
2012 ­ in the UK petrol tanker drivers strike forced people to `panic-buy' petrol, and led to some garages
pricing up their fuel supplies for profit, the result: many stations out of fuel
The recent events highlight the dependency of nations on the regular and continued secure supply of energy with angry
people becoming delirious and aggravated by the mere threat of price increase…read more

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Heavy oil sands (200+ oil; much is shipped environments which
billon barrels) as an oil and water could easily be
mix called ormulsion damaged by oil
Surface mining has
the potential to cause
Likely to be more
Sedimentary rock major environmental
Green River Basin, viable and acceptable
containing kerogen damage; acid runoff a 80 - 100
USA, oil shales if an in situ extraction
(750 billion barrels?) likely side-effect;
method is perfected
dirty fuel if burnt
Attention has been turned to the Arctic…read more

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BP (UK) 309 PDVSA (Venezuela) 91
Chevron Coorporation (USA) 205 Petrobras (Brazil) 138
ConocoPhillips (USA) 199 Gazprom (Russia) 99
Total (France) 231 Pertonas (Malaysia) 66
The companies in the table are involved in:
They are vertically integrated TNCs involved in the entire energy supply chain. Many are diversifying into renewable
energy, finding alternatives to compete with when the time comes as oil and gas (fossil fuels) run out.…read more

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Demand for fossil fuels
It has been predicted that in the next few decades fossil fuels will remain the sole source of energy supply, and will
continue to supply most of the world's energy requirements. However, there are a number of uncertainties surrounding
fossil fuel demand:
Economic growth ­ this is related to energy demand. Demand for energy was strong between 2002 and 2006
as the world enjoyed an economic boom.…read more

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Some argue that the huge oil prices of 2007-2008 were evidence of the peak but others countered the view that supply
was being limited by a lack of oil refinery capacity due to a lack of investment. There is less concern over peak gas, most
estimates suggest that this is further off (2025-2030) and the alternatives, such as shale gas (tight gas), have the
potential to dramatically increase availability and longevity of gas supplies, thus its not as hot a topic.
1.3.…read more


Mr A Gibson

This is an interesting read. Some original resources here which will give you the information you need to hit the top level marks in all questions. I'd have these on my mobile device as a .pdf and read/annotate/test. Really essential for this topic.

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