Energy Security revision guide

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Energy security
Key terms
Energy- the capacity to do work. Energy is fundamental to human survival and development. Energy
is vital for light, heating, transport, food, communication, electricity and the construction of
materials and more. A secure energy supply is crucial to human wellbeing.
Energy security - is vital for the functioning of the economy of a country and the well-being of its
people. A country that is self-sufficient is energy resources should be secure in terms of
development also. Energy security is used to mean a variety of different things including the
pressures on energy supply from rapidly expanding countries such as China and India, promoting
independent energy markets between countries, protecting energy pipelines from attack and
changing ad diversifying from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources , making energy supplies
more sustainable.
Fossil fuels- formed over geological time from the partly decayed remains of plants or animals.
Include coal, oil and natural gas. Can be combusted and used only one making them a finite source.
85% of global energy consumption in 2007 was from fossil fuels.
Non-renewable sources of energy- sources of energy which will become exhausted because they
can only be replaced over considerable periods of geological time. Fossil fuels and uranium are
non-renewable.
Renewable sources of energy- resources capable of natural regeneration on a human timescale.
Provide an almost continuous flow of energy. Include; water flow (hydroelectricity), wind, solar,
waves and geothermal.
Sustainable sources of energy- include; wood which can be re-grown and pumped storage water
from hydroelectricity plant and used many times.
Recyclable forms of energy- can be used repeatedly if managed carefully. Examples include
biomass and nuclear.
Primary sources of energy- energy found in natural resources such as coal, crude oil, sunlight,
wind, rivers, vegetation and uranium.
Secondary sources of energy- primary energy that has been converted into a more convenient
form such as electricity or petrol.
Energy demand- the need or desire for energy. Energy demand is variable depending on
development and individual need and availability.
Energy consumption- the availability and use of energy. In many places the demand for energy is
fully met, in which case energy demand is matched by consumption. However there are instances
where energy demand is greater than the amount of energy available.
Energy supply- the ability to access a sufficient amount of energy in relation to need.
Energy poverty- where level of development and wellbeing is negatively affected by a very low
consumption of energy, the use of dirty or polluting fuels such as dung and an excessive amount of
time collecting fuels such a timber.
Fuel- any material which is burnt or altered to obtain energy.
Fuel poverty- defined by the warm homes and energy conservation act as `a person is to be
regarded as living in fuel poverty is he/she is living in a household living on a lower income in a

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Statistically this is when a household needs
to spend more than 10% of its income to maintain an adequate heating regime.
The energy security index- based on the following indicators; availability (the amount and
longevity of each country's domestic oil and gas supply and its level on reliance on imported oil, gas
and electricity), diversity (the rang of energy sources used in meeting each country's energy
demand) and intensity (the degree to which the economy of a country is dependent on oil and gas).…read more

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However, carbon capture storage in coal power stations is in development.
Natural gas- methane rich and found underground. Natural gas may contain water vapour, sulphur
compounds and other non-hydrogen gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen and helium. Natural gas
is non-renewable and produces 50Mj of energy per kg. The key concerns about natural gas are the
situation over security especially for importer countries such as the UK and the greenhouse gases
releases. However, greenhouse gas emissions for gas are lower than of coal and oil.…read more

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Nuclear fusion could provide an unlimited and cheap source of energy. However, to be viable
fusion power plants would have to produce more energy than they consume which has proven
elusive. In September 2013 scientists in the USA managed to make the energy released through
fusion reactors exceed the amount of energy being absorbed by the fuel, this is the 1st time this
had been achieved at any fusion facility in the world.
Nuclear power plants generate about 1/5th of US electricity.…read more

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EDF which is owned by the French government plans to extend the lives of reactors
from 40 to 60 years but this will cost money.
Austria has long been against nuclear power and has called for Europe to abstain from nuclear
energy however its neighbour the Czech Republic has dramatically increases its production of
nuclear energy.…read more

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China plans to produce 40GW of nuclear energy a year by 2020.
Ten nuclear power plants were built across Britain from 1956 to 1966. The power plants came to
supply ¼ of Britain's energy needs. Calder hall the world's 1st nuclear power plant closed in 2003
after more than 40 years of providing power. The total cost of decommissioning, which will be
borne by the UK tax payers, is estimated to be in excess of £70 million. Decommissioning is not
expected until at least 2037.…read more

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In 2013 a yougov poll published in the Sunday times found that nuclear was the most
popular choice to provide Britain's future energy needs.
French energy giant EDF is leading a consortium building a £161 billion plant at Hinkley point in
Somerset. The UK government has guaranteed power prices from the plant for 35 years. The
nuclear plant is expected to start producing power in 2023 and the government a price of £92.…read more

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In 2012 EDF extended the decommissioning dates of Hinkley point B in Somerset and Hunterston in
north Ayrshire in Scotland to 2023. These plants give jobs to 1,500 people. They generate enough
low carbon electricity for 2 million homes.
The Torness nuclear power plant is located between Berwick and Edinburgh. It opened in 1988. It
has 2 reactors producing 682MWe a year. Torness is expected to close in 2023.…read more

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Decommissioning a nuclear power plant costs £20-25
billion.
The independent newspaper found that 76 operating
power plants in Japan, Taiwan, China, South Korea,
India, Pakistan and the US were located in areas
vulnerable to tsunamis. The Independent found more
than 1 in 10 nuclear power stations were at high or
extreme risk of earthquakes in Japan, the USA,
Taiwan, Armenia and Slovakia.
The Dungeness nuclear power station was shut down
in October 2013 because of the St. Jude's storm.…read more

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Photovoltaic's convert light into
electrical current using the photovoltaic effect.
A solar farm is a large array of interconnected solar panels that capture sunlight and use its
energy to generate electricity. Solar panel farms can provide surplus energy to a grid. A typical
solar farm generates 5MW which can provide electricity to up to 1,200 homes. This gives a carbon
dioxide savings (compared to electricity generated by fossil fuels) of 500 grams per kilowatt hour.…read more

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