Energy Security

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Energy supply- Physical & Human factors

  • Geographical location/ Proximity to resources (China Eastern coast coal fields)
  • Government stability
  • Infrastructre avalalible 
  • Ability to access resourses (Technological advancement)
  • Political relationships (Ukarain and Russia)
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Renewable// Recyclable energies


  • Hydro-Electric power
  • Solar
  • Wind
  • Wave
  • Geothermal
  • Biofuels 


  • Nuclear 
  • Biomass
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Nuclear energy

Pros: 72% Fracnce energy generated by nuclear power plants 

  • Practically carbon neural 
  • Greates efficiency out of all energy options 
  • output per kg significantly larger than coal (One uranium fuel pellet creates as much energy as one ton of coal)
  • Reliable 
  • Supply of raw materials- over 100 years worth of reaw materia left 

Cons: Fukashima plant Japan (leak during natural disaster) // Chernobyl Ukraine disaster (Human error)

  • Terrorist attack target
  • Nuclear weapon creation risk (Hiroshima Japan WW2)
  • Waste issues 
  • Health implications when exposed to radiation
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  • Flexible- energy creation when needed 
  • Green- relatively non-polluting 
  • Increases water and energy security
  • Safe


  • Limited by physical location
  • Requires large investment
  • Affects natural biodiversity- Fish migratory patterns and drought
  • Displacement of people and ecosystems through flooding


  • 3 Gorges dam China
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Solar energy


  • Ubundant resource
  • No GHG production
  • Sustainable
  • Both small and large scale


  • Intermittent- Can't be produced consistantly 
  • Storage of energy expensive
  • Huge space needed
  • Expensive to install


  • Morocco largest solar farm in Africa plan- power nearly half the country by 2020
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Wind Energy


  • Sustainable
  • Can be built on existing farms 
  • Cost effective


  • NIMBY issues
  • Expensive
  • Larger scale project 
  • Intermittent

Example: UK

  • Space of 3000 onshore and 4000 offshore wind farms 
  • Cheapest source of energy 
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Biomass energy


  • Reduced dependancy on fossil fuels
  • Reduces landfil waste 
  • Creation of new products (Biofuels)
  • Can be regrown (ubundant resource)


  • Food insecurity issues as prices rise
  • No evidence for biomass to be carbon neutral energy source
  • limited to small scale projects (avalibility of biofuel in petrol stations etc.)


  • 64% populaytin has access to energy 
  • 74% use firewood for heating
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Fossil fules


  • Technology widely avalible
  • Cheap and reliable


  • Limited avalibility 
  • Production of GHG
  • Global warming risk 
  • Unsustainable
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Energy pathways

What are energy pathways:

  • Ways we deliver energy resources around the world
  • Increasingly significant to countries with little access to their own energy reserves. 

Who provides the words energy resources?

  • Russia- Gas & Oil supply to majority of Europe 
    • Western Europe is dependent on Russia; gas supplies were cut off for Ukraine by Russia following payment disputes
    • Caused supplied in Germany and France to fall by 30%
  • Middle East- OPEC
  • Straits of Hormunuz
    • By 2030 30% of the World’s oil is likely to pass through
    •  Straits are historically an area of conflict; Iraq War, Gulf War and the Invasion of Iraq
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Global Energy Uncertainty

  • Scale to which we can switch to renewables
  • Development of new technologies 
  • Size of undiscovered oil // gas reserves 
  • Impact of rising living standards 
  • Emerging economies (BRICs)
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Players in Energy security

  • TNC’s (Exxon Mobil,Shell and BP) 
    • Develpment of new technologies 
    • Discovering new reserves
  • OPEC (Organisation of petroleum Exporting Countries)
    • responsible for a large percentage of global oil and gas production.
    • Are able to control the amount that is produced at any one time, and determine the price.
  • Individuals, groups and organisations
    • Pressure groups include conservation and environmental organisations e.g. WWF & Greenpeace.
    • International Organisations concerned with the trade in energy e.g. World Bank & World Trade Organisation.
    • Households, industrial activities and public utilities.
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Demand for energy

  • Economic growth – Rise of the BRICs, can the world afford them to develop the same way as currednt developed countries did? 
  • Efficiency – increased efficiency of the thinning resources may lower the demand. Governments  encourage meaningful efficiency drive, the savings could be very large.
  • Population growth – the uncertainty over the expansion of the population limits the inevitability over the demand of fossil fuels in the future.


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Synoptic links


  • Increasign the avalibility of water though dams e.g. 3 Gorges


  • Securing energy sources- who owns the Arctic oil (Russia, USA & Canada)


  • Threats to biodiversity as we develop 
  • Can we reduce the impact through renewable energy use?

Tech Fix

  • New ways to produce energy and reduce the impacts
  • Carbon capture and storage
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