Energy Top Trump Cards

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  • Created on: 05-04-13 15:18
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Gas Coal
About one fth of Britain's energy comes from coal, mostly used for generating
Gas is mostly used for heating, producing electricity and small amounts for
electricity in large power stations. Most of it is imported, despite UK stocks.
cooking. Used for about one third of UK total energy supply, but now imported.
Climate change This gure is for coal red electricity production and would be lower
1000 grams
Climate change This gure is for electricity from gas (lower for heating and hot water.) CO2 per kWh for heat from coal.
400 grams
CO2 per kWh Escapes of un-burnt gas (methane) increase greenhouse gases.
Coal mining has severe local e ects. Coal combustion causes acid
Impact on nature Very high
Gas is mostly transported by pipeline with little local impact except rain. It contributes signi cantly to climate change
Impact on nature Low installation. Burning gas and gas escapes contribute to climate
change. Miners risk ill health and accidents. Emissions into the air cause
Risks Moderate
respiratory illnesses. Mines can collapse.
Possible explosion of a storage depot, through accident, and attack.
Risks Moderate
Gas leaks can cause explosions in buildings. Spoil heaps, subsidence and open cast mining impact on the landscape.
Visual impact Moderate
Many deliveries needed to fuel a power station
Visual impact Tiny Mostly transported by buried pipelines.
Cost now Very Low Electricity from coal is cheap now and heating is even cheaper
Cost now Low Gas cheap now, but price increasing. Could be rapid increases.
Costs are likely to increase over the next 20 years in response to
Cost 20 years Moderate
As gas stocks decrease and world energy demand increases, price environmental regulations, and possible carbon taxes
Cost 20 years Moderate
likely to increase. Carbon taxes would increase cost.
Lot of coal in the world and still plenty in the UK if old mines
The UK resource Good
The UK has used and sold its own gas reserves, and now needs to reopened. At least 100 years left if used at present rate
The UK resource Poor
While stocks available, coal power stations can supply reliable steady
Reliability/ While stocks last, gas is a exible and reliable, `instant-on' and `instant Very Good heat and electricity, but can take hours to respond to changes in
Excellent exibility
exibility o ' fuel for many uses. demand.

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Oil Carbon Capture
and storage (CCS)
CO2 Gas or coal
CO2 sink
About a third of Britain's energy comes from oil, mostly imported. A small
proportion is used for heating and electricity production but most is used as
liquid fuels for transport.
Not a source of energy but a way to capture and store carbon dioxide from various
Climate change This gure is for electricity from oil and would be lower for heating
CO2 per kWh
700 grams
and higher for transport.…read more

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Nuclear Energy Passive Solar Building
image © Anglesey Môn Information Website
Nuclear power stations generate electricity.…read more

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Solar Water Heating Solar Photovoltaics
Solar water Heating (SWH) uses sunlight to warm solar panels. Up to 70 % of a
households' hot water over the year can be provided in the UK. Panels can be part
of or added onto a roof, or in a frame. The technology for producing electricity directly from sunlight is called
Climate change The only CO2 emissions arise in making and installing the Photovoltaics (PV). Expensive now, but getting cheaper, subsidies now in UK.…read more

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Concentrating solar power Crops for liquid fuels
(with heat storage) (CSP)
Crops such as wheat, sun owers and palm oil can be turned into liquid bio-fuels
In sunny climates, it is economic to use re ectors to concentrate sunlight, such as bio-diesel and bio-ethanol, for transport fuels. Food shortages could
producing high temperatures, steam and electricity. Stored heat (usually as occur if much cropland is used to grow bio-fuel crops, rather than food.
molten salts), can be used to generate electricity at any time.…read more

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Solid Biomass Biogas/bio-methane
image © EnviTec International
Biomass usually from forestry thinnings, willow plantations and high-yielding Biogas is a mix of methane and carbon dioxide from processing food wastes,
tall grasses such as Miscanthus can be grown for heating and electricity. They animal manure, and other plant materials in "anaerobic digestors". The gas is
take a lot of space to grow, but can be stored and used on demand. mostly used for electricity. Removing carbon dioxide produces bio-methane for
the gas grid.…read more

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Land ll Gas Energy from burning Waste
Landfill Gas project at the image © Pablo Paster, San Francisco
landfill site Pioneer Crossing,
Pennsylvania © Green Gas
International ough recycling is encouraged there is much mixed waste still produced. Quite a
lot of this is incinerated (burnt), generating energy for heating and electricity
Many land ll sites produce a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide gas from
rotting wastes.…read more

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Combined Heat and Power
Heat Pumps
The new CHP plant at
Birmingham Heartlands Hospital
image © Calorex Heat Pumps
Gas , coal and some other power stations produce about two and half units of
heat for every unit of electricity. This heat is mostly wasted up "cooling towers" but Most heat pumps use electricity to collect heat from the ground or air to provide
could be used for industrial processes or for heating buildings through a "district space-heating and/or hot water.…read more

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Geothermal Large-scale Hydropower
image © Caniluna Pty Ltd
image © Southampton Geothermal Heating Company
Hydropower is a renewable source that produces about 3% of UK electricity. The best
In some parts of the world very hot water comes to the surface of the earth. This can be
dam sites in Britain are already used, (mostly built over 50 years ago). Dams in some
used for heating and generating electricity.…read more

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Wave Power O shore wind farms
Wind farms in the sea bene t from steady winds and are not easily seen from land if far
The energy in waves comes originally from the wind, but is much stronger. There are a
enough o shore.
range of devices developed to capture wave energy. The UK has good potential areas for
wave power. Climate change
12 grams The only CO2 emissions arise in making and installing the equipment.…read more


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