Energy Issues

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Energy Issues

falling stocks and rising flows

  • energy resources can be classified into two types: stock resources and flow resources
  • stock resources - finite energy sources whose use means they will eventually run out
  • flow resource - infinite, continuous energy sources which can be constantly renewed
  • as the non-renewable energy resources are used up, the world is increasingly turned to renewable energy resources instead
  • renewable energy resources are continuously replenished, because their flow is constant.

primary and secondary energy sources

  • coal, oil and natural gas are primary energy sources
  • burning them generates power that can be used directly to move vehicles and machines. this is primary energy use. but the heat generated by burning these resources can also be used to power a turbine that dries a generator to produce electricity. electricity is a secondary energy source.
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Energy mix

getting the mix right

  • the increasing global demand for energy means that stock resources are being used up more and more quickly, and threats of shortages are starting to emerge.
  • as countries such as the LIC develop - and their standards of living rise - they want access to more energy. but if the energy sources are limited (or cannot be acquired easily, quickly or cheaply), the price charged for them rises. some resources then become too expensive, so countries look for cheaper and more accessible alternatives. the different primary energy sources used to satisfy the increasing demand for energy make up the energy mix

case study - the UK's energy mix

  • up to the 1960s, the UK was dependent on domestic supplies of coal. then, in the 1980s-90s, the energy mix shifted to more use of oil and natural gas. however, the north sea stocks of oil and gas are starting to run out. this has forced the UK to import more of its primary energy sources (e.g. natural gas from Russia), and to broaden its energy mix with the development of wind farms and other renewable sources. the increasing reliance on imported energy sources affects the UK's energy security, this is now a political issue
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Energy mix 2

Case Study: the UK's energy mix

  • the privatisation of the UK's energy supply industry, in the 1980s,  also means that overseas companies - like France's EDF and Germany's EON - now play a big part in deciding which energy sources are used to meet demand in the UK.
  • they buy primary energy supplies on international markets, rather than just using UK supplies. there are enough un-mined coal stocks in the UK to last another 150 years, but current technology and environmental policy make mining them unrealistic and economically unviable. however, should a cleaner way of burning coal be developed, the UK's energy mix could change again.
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managing china's energy mix

  • record economic growth rates since 2000 have seen China emerge as the world's second-largest energy consumer and the largest producer of greenhouse gas.
  • its total global energy demand rose from 10% in 2001 to 16% in 2010.
  • before 2000, China's economic growth rate had already doubled its energy consumption. but, since 2000, average incomes in China have risen, urbanisation has accelerated, and Chinese industry has become more energy intensive. energy demand there has rusen by a further 86%, and China is expected to account for nearly 40% of the world's total energy consumption by 2013
  • china controls 3% of the world's oil reserves. it was self-sufficient in oil until 1993, but since then has needed to import it to fuel its rapid economic growth
  • rural-to-urban migration in China is the highest ever recorded - an everage of 8.5 million people a year. most of these urban migrants head for the industrial centres by the coast, where energy consumption is significantly higher than in rural areas.
  • cyclists now battle with the increasing number of cars. this is because one of the social effects of China's rapid economic growth and increasing wealth is the desire to own a car:
  • chinese car ownership is expected to jump from 16 cars per 1000 - 267 cars per 1000 people by 2030
  • in 2009, 13.6 million cars were sold in china, 3.5 million more than in the USA
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managing china's energy mix 2


  • china's the world's biggest producer and consumer of coal - it generates nearly 75% of China's electricity
  • china is building an average of three new coal-fired power stations in a week
  • china added 102 gigawatts of generating capacity to its electricity grid (as much as the entire generating capacity of france)
  • increasinf pollution problems mean that china now has to build new, cleaner, coal-fired power stations.


  • accounts for 16% of china's energy production
  • the turbines of the three gorges dam on the Yangtze river will generate 2.5 gigawatts of electricity at maximum output - making it the biggest HEP scheme in the world.
  • china wants to build HEP dams on all of its major rivers, which has caused concerns for neighbouring countries. an earthquake may hit and damage rivers
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managing china's energy mix 3

future fears for energy security

  • large oil deposits in the Tarim Basin have failed to attract any investment, because of their remote location and difficult geology. deepwater exploration in the South China Sea is affected by the danger of terrirorial disputes with neighbouring countries like Vietnam and the Philippines.
  • natural gas is a cleaner fuel, but its proved costly and difficult to build pipelines from the gas fields in western china.


  • chinas oil reserved are largely located in the north and far west, while the industry representing 71% of China's demand for energy is mainly located much further east and south.
  • its difficult to mine, move and burn coal quickly, cleanly and in sufficient quantity to meet china's escalating demand.

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global patterns of energy supply and consumption

  • the global energy mix still depends largely on fossil fuels. fossil fuels make up 85% of world energy consumption. the overall demand for energy is expected to continue increasing until at least 2050, but energy consumption varies dramatically between regions. as they continue to develop economically,China and India are expected to consume an increasing share of the world's primary energy resources.

by 2030: the global demand for energy is predicted to have grown by 50%

  • electricity generation is expected to double
  • nuclear power will probably have increased its share of the energy mix, as countries turn to recognised and reliable energy sources to plug potential gaps in their supply

the UK faces an energy shortage as old power stations come to an end of their lives and stock resources of North Sea oil and gas are used up: energy production in the UK peaked in 1999 - since then, primary energy production has been falling at just over 5% a year / in 2005, the UK became a net importer of energy, as consumption finallt overtook production.

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global patterns of energy supply and consumption 2

the idea of peak oil refers to the point at which global oil production reaches its maximum level. after that point, production will fall into sustainable decline. the date of peak oil isnt certian, because new finds and changing technology can alter calculations. after the peak, many forecasters expect global oil production to fall by 3% a year:

  • with growing demand, this means that the gap between the amount of oil we want and the amount of oil we get will grow by more than 4% a year.
  • within 10 years, we could have only about half the amount of oil required to sustain economic growth
  • this could lead to spikes in oil prices and deep recessions.
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global patterns of energy supply and consumption 3

energy poverty

while some countries have an energy surplus, the unequal distribution of energy sources means that other countries or areas suffer from energy poverty:

  • 25% of the world's population still have no access to electricity (80% of these people live in rural areas)
  • 2.4 billion people rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating


  • the use of traditional biomass is killing people - 2.5 million women and children die each year from lung conditions caused by smoke from traditional cooking stoves.
  • energy povery keeps people poor by limiting women's ability to gain an education and earn money - because they have to spend hours each day collecting fuel
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global patterns of energy supply and consumption C

Some of the world's largest reserves of tar sands are found in Canada. Tar sands are naturally occuring mixtures of sand or clay and a very dense viscous form of oil, called bitumen).

Alberta, in westerm Canada, has 3 major deposits of tar sands. together they cover an area larger than England. extracting the oil is expensive and difficult, but, by 2030, these tar sands could supply 16% of North America's oil needs.

The tar sands are extracted by opencast mining:

  • The process is very energy intensive. it takes the equivalent of one barrel of oil to produce three barrels of crude oil from tar sands.
  • the energy intensive production process also produces a lot of greenhouse gases
  • it takes 2-5 barrels of water to produce every barrel of oil
  • two tonnes of mined tar sands are needed to produce one barrel of oil. this leaves a lot of waste and destruction behind
  • so far, 470km^2 of woodlands have been removed to allow the opencast mining, and lakes of toxic wastewater cover 130km^2
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the geopolitics of energy

the east siberia-pacific ocean oil pipeline

  • 2600 miles long when its completed in 2016. this pipeline will offer Russia a new energy pathway into pacific markets
  • the russian, chinese and japanese governments are all interested in oil for a number of geopoltical reasons. China and Japan have been competing for acess to Russia's oil - and the ESPO pipeline project - in order to secure their future energy supplies.
  • geopolitics - the study of ways in which political decisions and processes affect the use of space and resources. it's the relationships between geography, economics and politics.
  • an energy pathway refers to the flow of energy from the producer to the consumer. the ESPO oil pipeline will allow Russia's oil flow more easily to China and Japan, plus any other Pacific countries that want to import Russian oil (including the USA)
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the geopolitics of energy 2

inconvenient neighbours

  • Russia and China share a 4300km long border, so a good relationship between them is vital. however, they are suspicious of each other - with Russia seeing China as a rival power and potential threat. therefore, Russia has been reluctant to commit itself too heavily in terms of energy supply to China
  • the Japanese gov. was keen for the ESPO pipeline not to end in China (as orig proposed), but for it to be extended to the pacific coast (brining the oil closer to Japan). therefore, it offered to finance a large proportion of the ESPO project ($7)
  • the Japanese financing will enable the Russians to build the most expensive pipeline in history, while restricting Chinese access to Russia's oil and helping to rebuild the relationship between Russia and Japan. Russia will also be able to export its oil more widely to other countries in the pacific region. however, a spur will still be built off the main ESPO pipeline to run into China and, as a 'sweetener', Russia has promised to increase oil exports to China by rail to 300,00 barrels a day.
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the geopolitics of energy 3


  • china needs more energy to support its rapid economic growth
  • reliable energy supplies are also vital for maintaining the control of the Chinese Communist party and the internal security of the country
  • most of China's current external oil supplies travel by oil tanker through the Strait of Malacca (between Indonesian Sumatra and Malaysia). This Strait is narrow (only 2.8km wide at its narrowest point), crowded (50,000 ships use it every year), and subject to frequent attacks by Pirates. So China wants to develop new energy pathways to widen its supply options and increase its energy security
  • China and Russia have a joint political interest over the issue of US military in Central Asia and the Middle East, and also US policies relating to the promotion of democracy and some regime change there. Beijing is concerned that US strategies aim to block or prevent China's expanding economic, political and energy ties.
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the geopolitics of energy 4


  • Japan has almost no oil reserves of its own
  • it is the world's third largest oil consumer, after the USA and China
  • in 2007, Japan imported over three-quarters of its oil from the Middle-East. Access to the ESPO pipeline would reduce Japan's oil dependence would reduce Japan's oil dependence on the Middle East by 10-15%
  • Japan wants to engage with Russia and increase its economic and political influence, which declined in the 1980s and 1990s as China and Russia strengthened their ties.
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Russia and Gazprom

Russia is a re-emerging global player. It's economic power lies in its key natural resources - particulary oil and gas - with energy becoming a political tool. energy has:

  • helped to re-assert Russia's power and influence over former Soviet states and neighbours
  • given Russia a way to restore its international position and regain geopolitical importance

critics say that Russia has been using the supply of gas as a weapon:

  • in november/december 04, as part of a peaceful democratic revolution, Ukraine replaced its pro-Russian government with one led by pro-western reformers. In Januray 2006, Ukraine found its gas (supplied by Gazprom) cut off, after Russia decided to quadruple the price and Ukraine's new government refused to pay
  • in march '08, Gazprom again cut gas supplies to Ukraine over 'disputed debts'. However, Ukraine was seeking to join NATO and the EU at the time, which angered Russia.
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Europe's energy security

Was Europe right to be worried about its energy security?


  • because of the amount of gas Russia supplies to Europe. All of the gasp supply valves lie within Ukraine. When Gazprom shut down the pipeline in 2006, the flow of gas to the rest of Europe fell by 40% in some areas. In the winter of 2009-10, Gazprom cut supplies to Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania in a new dispute.


  • Gazprom cannot cut off supplies within Russia, and its export markets to Western Europe are  too valuable to lose. so its former soviet states, such as ukraine and Belarus, which are likely to lose out.
  • even during the cold war, the supply of Russian gas was unstable
  • Gazprom is now helping to secure Europe's energy supplies, with the construction of new pipelines bypassing Ukraine and Belarus
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Europe's energy security / Was Europe right to be


  • the Nord stream pipeline will be a new energy pathway for Russian gas to europe. it will run for 1200km along the bed of the Baltic Sea - with no transit countries involved - thus reducing any possible political interference with energy supplies
  • the south stream pipeline will run under the Black sea from the Russian coast to the Bulgarian coast
  • in an effort to enhance its energy security, the EU is planning its own pipeline. the nabucco pipeline will bring gas from central asia and the caspian sea across Turkey into the EU. but it may only be able to supply about 5% of europe's needs.
  • the south caucasus pipeline (opened '06) will also bring gas from Azerbaijan to Europe via Turkey.
  • the EU is looking at alternative energy sources, possibly involving  more nuclear power
  • in spring '10, gazprom renegotiated its gas prices and contracts with european countries. as the continuing recession hit demand, these countries had reduced their gas consumption and got cheaper supplies elsewhere.
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what about OPEC?

  • the organisation of petroleum exporting countries (OPEC) is a permanent intergovernmental organisation
  • OPEC's objective is to 'coordinate petroleum policies to ensure fair and stable prices for producers, an efficient and regular supply to consumers, and a fair return on capital for those investing in the industry.'
  • it sets oil quotas for member countries in response to economic growth rates and demand-and-supply conditions. To maintain stable prices, OPEC boosts supplies when demand risses and reduces them when demand falls. over three quarters of the world's proven oil reserves are controlled by OPEC members, so it's a powerful organisation
  • in 2008 oil prices surged upwards and the global economy shuddered as the dollar slumped and share prices fell. In response, the USA and other major oil consumers urged producers like Saudi Arabia to boost oil supplies to bring the price down
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environmental impact of energy production

the fuelwood crisis

  • fuelwood has provided the main source of cooking fuel, heating and lighting in many rural areas of the world. its cheap, accessible and renewable. however, development and the use of the quantity and type of fuel sources used to support modern lifestyles in HICs and MICs
  • in LICs development hasnt always brought about a big switch to electricity use. Today, vast areas of forest are being lost in LICs, as more timber is used as fuel.E.G. more than 90% of the wood cut in Burkina Faso is used for cooking.

why are so many forests in LICs being 'harvested'? - with deforestation the inevitable results? Urbanisation is the problem. demands for fuel in urban areas are much greater than in rural areas:

  • urban pops are larger and growing faster
  • eating habits in urban areas are changing to three warm meals a day, so more fuel is needed to heat the food
  • charcoal is the preferred fuel source in ubran areas - it's lighter to carry than wood, but contains only 40% of the original wood's energy, so more is needed for the same result
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environmental impact of energy production 2

  • the demand for charcoal also means that larger lumps of wood are needed to create it (charcoal is made by heating wood in the absence of oxygen to carbonize it and drive out the water)

the sale of fuelwood is a relatively recent phenomenon in rural areas. people there used to meet their fuel needs by using dead twigs and small branches collected close to their homes. However, population growth - and the realisation that there is money to be made by selling wood to urban people - has encouraged large-scale woodcutting of live wood.

Charcoal production is illegal in most countries, because it accelerates the removal of the forests and governments are attempting to control the rate of fuelwood cutting. the ministry of the environment in burkina faso sells licences to limit tree cutting

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what is acid rain?

  • acid rain occurs when emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides react in the atmosphere with water, oxygen and oxidants to form various acidic compounds, including sulphuric acid and nitric acid.
  • these then fall to the earth as dry particles, gas, or rain, snow and god
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acid rain returns

  • acid rain held 'celebrity status' in the 1980s and 90s. it was the first big trans-boundary pollution event (pollution which crosses national boundaries). most industrialised nations took action to adress the problem. in the UK, the coal industry took the blame as the main culprit. Since then, coal-fired power stations have been phased out, or filters have been fitted at great expense, to try to clean up Europe's air. the 1979 Geneva Convention set emission targets - and international cooperation. Clean Air Acts and improved technology have reduced the acid rain problem in both Europe and the USA

Asia is predicted to be the new acid rain hotspot. energy use has surged in china, india, SK and thailand, much of that energy is being generated using coal, which releases a lot of SO2 into the atmosphere. the effects are widespread:

  • indian crop yields close to stations are down by 49%
  • provinces in china are experiencing acid rain over 66% of their farmland
  • the growth rates of pine and oak trees across SK are declining
  • water supplies are more acidic, bad for human health, fish and wildlife
  • air quality if predicted to be at dangerous levels across large parts of Asia by 2020
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the nuclear alternative

  • on april 26th 1986 there was a huge explosion at a nuclear power plant in chernobyl, Ukraine, releasing 100 times more radiation into the atmosphere than the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. this radioactive fallout spread right  around the world

fears surrounding nuclear power continue to huant the public. yet this exteremly expensive and potentially hazardous way of generating electricity is increasingly being seen as the solution to different countries' energy security problems

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sustainable energy supply

future energy supplies will be shaped by 3 driving forces:

  • increasing demand for energy, as more countries - especially India and China - rapidly develop
  • increasingly expensive fossil fuels, as avaliable stocks begin to run out
  • the search for technologically sustainable energy sources, driven by fears about global climate change

It makes no snese to use energy sources that are renewable. windmills have been long used to drive pumps and provide energy for milling. and waterwheels were central to early industralisation. fossil fuels just took over from these traditional sources because they could provide more energy in the form of electricity, more cheaply and over larger areas.

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wind power case study

  • the british government anticipates that an extra 4000 onshore and 3000 offshore wind turbines will be built as part of a £100 billion boost to the renewable energy strategy.
  • from june 2010, plans to increase clean energy production by effectively introducing a 'carbon tax' on 'dirty fuels', measn that energy companies in the UK are likely to turn increasingly to wind power
  • agreements are already in place for  massive wind farms in the north sea - and the UK is set to become the world leader in offshore wind power.
  • an underwater 'supergrid' will be constructed to transmit electricity to the mainland
  • however, some wind power schemes are less ambitious. Delabole's wind farm in north Cornwall is a good example. in 2010, Delabole's ten old wind turbines were replaced by four more-efficient ones - generating 9.2 MW of electricity for 7800 local homes.
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wave and tidal power

  • in janurary 2009, the scottish government granted permission for the world's largest wave-energy project.Harnessing power from the Atlantic waves will generate enough electricity for 1500 homes in the western isles
  • Cornwall could also become a leader in wave technology. A project named the 'wavehub' is being considered off the southwest coast. it could produce electricity for 7500 homes and save 300,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.
  • 8 of the UKs river esturies also offer prime sites for major tidal energy projects. daily tides move vast amounts of water, and it has been suggested that a 5th of the UKs energy could be produced this way. The Dee, Solway, Humber and Severn esturies are likely sites. only 20 viable sites have been identified in the whole world
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  • in oct 2010, gas made from human sewage was first pumped into the national grid for the first time. It will be used in homes for cooking and heating, just like normal natural gas. sweage from the Thames water's 14million customers is treated at Didcot. Biogas is given off when the sludge is warmed up in giant vats. this proceaa ia known as anaerobic digestion, and involves the breakdown of biodegradable materials by bacteria. The resultant gas, biomethane, is purified before being piped into the grid. The 2.5 million project currently supplies 200 homes, and is the first of many similar projects. It's thought that biomethane could account for 15% of the UK's domestic gas supply by 2020
  • Adnams brewery in Suffolk has started a pioneering energy system that generates biomethane gas from brewery and local food waste. The bio-energy plant generates enough biogas to heat more than 230 family homes for a year. Microbes accelerate the decomposition of the waste - yielding biomethane and liquid fertiliser
  • the new anaerobic digestion facility pumped gas into the national grid for the first time on oct 9th 2010. Adnams bio-energy will have the capacity to break down 12,500 tonnes of organic waste each year - enough to power a family car for 4 million miles. the brewery itself uses solar pannels, photovoltaic cells and harvests its own water - its highly sustainable
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small-scale appropriate technology for sustainable

  • 96% of kenyans have no access to grid electricity. Mbuiru village is a typical Kenyan village - 200km north of Nairobi. The Tungu-Kabri Micro-hydro Power Project harnesses the energy of falling water to create electricity.
  • the project is cheap, sustainable and small-scale. it generates enough electricity to benefit about 1000 people - providing light, saving time, and allowing people to run small buisnesses. it is an example of appropriate technology working for the needs of people by making use of local renewable resources
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energy conservation&demand management

  • some of the old coal-fired power stations are only 40% efficientm and all over the world energy is wasted. demand management techniques can be used to help reduce energy consumption and demand in the first place. these techniques normmally involve charging energy efficient consumers more and reducing waste. conserving energy and reducing the amounts we actually use could reduce the size of any future gap
  • Decentralising energy generation and developing local energy generators, along with energy efficiency measures can be very effective.
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copenhagen's combined heat&power CS

Copenhagen's combines heat and power (CHP) system supplies 97% of the city with clean, reliable and affordable heating - as well 15% of Denmark's total heating needs. the system was set up in 1984 as a partenership between local councils and energy companies.

the CHP system uses a combination of:

  • waste hear from electricity generation (normally released into the sea or rivers, but now taken through pipes to people's homes)
  • surplus heat from incinerating waste
  • geothermal energy
  • biofuels (wood pellets and straw) and small amounts of natural gas, oil and coal

by 2005, household fuel bills in copenhagen were 1400 suroes loweer than if oil had been used for heating. And, by 2009, CO2 emissions were down to 0.6 million tonnes - compared with 3.5 million in 1995. SO2 emissions have also fallen by 35% over the same period. it's a clean and efficient system, that wastes only 6% of the energy generated.

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low carbon homes CS

  • woking borough council in surrey has reduced CO2 emissions by 82% and energy consumption by 52%. it has developed a network of 60 local generators, near to where the electricity is actually used. they are used to power, heat and cool council buildings and social housing - as well as town centre buisnesses
  • the sustainable installations include the use of solar power (PVs) to provide background heat and CHP.
  • the scheme cost the council £12 million to set up, and the first 5 years saw energy bill savings of £5.4 million
  • in 2008, woking introduced the low-carbon homes programme to encourage its residents to minimise their carbon dioxide emissions and water consumption. the first phase of the programme was to convert a detached house as an example, to show homeowners what steps they could take for themselves to conserve energy and reduce their carbon footprint
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low-carbon homes CS 2

  • 250mm of loft insulation has been installed to keep in the heat
  • a 'passive' stack ventilation system has been installed, which uses the natural flow of air to ventilate the house without the need for power
  • all light fixtures have been fitted with high-quality energy efficient bulbs
  • movement and daylight sensors in the kitchen, bathroom and halls mean that their lights only come on when needed
  • the cavity walls have been filled with insulation, and a second skin of insulation board has been fitted to all external walls
  • all kitchen appliances are 'A' rated or better for energy
  • an energy efficient condensing gas boiler has been installed
  • a 3500-litre underground water tank collects water from the rood to flush toilets and feed the washing machine and outside taps
  • a solar array has been installed on the garage roof to provide up to 50% of the electricity requirements
  • solar water heating pannels provide about 70% of the home's hot water
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a brighter energy future?

  • turning to renewables and reducing pollution-generating fossil fuel dependency could lead to more lights at night and a brighter future for all.
  • green taxation or reward schemes may be needed to complement nationwide strategies and encourage local action. individual homes with solar pannels, wind turbines and CHP systems are developing fast - and also offer technological fixes to the potential energy gap.
  • a shift away from private transport infrastructures will also change the shapes of our cities
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managing supply and demand.

  • most countries are managing their energy supply to some extent.
  • but countries find it much harder to manage demand. in the UK, official building regulations aim to ensure the energy efficiency of new buildings by encouraging the use of things like double glazing and cavity wall insulation as standard. government grants are also avaliable for the installation of loft and cavity wall insulation, and solar pannels, in existing buildings. electrical appliances carry energy-use ratings to encourage consumers to think about their energy demands.
  • some power companies have also offered their customers free electricity monitors, so that they can keep tabs on their day to day energy use.
  • the companies then offer rewards if the electricity use falls by a certain amount.But, so far, measures like these have only had a small impact on the UK's demand for energy
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low-carbon transport - london and NY

transport congestion in cities means that:

  • transport is inefficient
  • fuel is wasted
  • pollution is increased
  • the environment and the economy suffer

charging individual road users to enter some areas has the combined effect of reducing fuel consumption and improving urban lifestyles

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london's congestion charging and boris bikes

since 2003, drivers have been charged £8 a day to drive in the central london congestion zone. the scheme was introduced because London had the UK's worst traffic congestion. the cost to the economy of drivers spending hald their time in queues was estimated to be £2-4 million a week

in theory, the congestion charge should encourage people to make more use of the public transport, which is cheaper and more fuel-efficient. the income from the congestion charge has been used to replace/upgrade every vehicle in the fleet of london buses. the positive effects of the congestion charge scheme have been dramatic:

  • traffic in the zone has fallen by 21%
  • bus passenger numbers have increased by 45%
  • cyclists have increased by 43%
  • road traffic accident rates are down by 5%
  • CO2 and nitrous oxide emissions have fallen by 12%
  • there has been 60% less disruption to bus services
  • retail sales in the area have increased
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new york - a failed attempt

in 2007, NY city mayor, Michael Bloomber, outlined plans to reduce emissions and fuel consumption by:

  • increasing electricity bills by $2.50 a month - to pay for improved power stations. this would cost every household $30 a year until 2015, but save them $240 a year after that
  • congestion charging in southern manhattan - witht the aim of raising $380 million in the first year to fund public transport and pay for a new transport authority to organise public transport schemes

however, these ideas faced political opposition and, in 2008, the state government shelved them. many argued that the 'tax was regressive and would penalise the city's poor'

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workplace efficiency

in 2001, the UK climate change levy was introduced to 'encourage improved energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions'. All buisnesses have to pay this tax, but employers do recieve tax incentives if they adopt energy efficiency schemes and other good practices

buisnesses have responded to the levy in a number of ways:

  • turning everything off when its not in use
  • installing movement-sensitive lights
  • having regulated air conditioning and heating
  • recycling and re-using materials to reduce waste
  • using SMART metering systems
  • completing energy audits
  • installing solar pannels, heat transfer systems, and insulation
  • training all staff and reviewing the energy situation regularly
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