Future energy in the UK
Due to non-renewable energy sources being limited and eventually going to run out the UK has set the target of using renewable energy. Most alternative energy sources cause less pollution than fossil fuels and carry less risk than nuclear power.
Energy from naural resources that are infinite or can be re-used.
Does not deplete natural resources and does not harm the environment.
Wind Power: Energy generated from the wind.
- fastest growing alternative energy source in the UK
- The wind is free
- need to be situated in areas with regular high wind speeds.
- turbines are expensive to build and noisy
- Take up land
- Have visual impact on the landscape
- Pressure of the turning of the blades can affect bats.
Solar Power: energy generated from sunlight.
- best suited to small scale use for individual homes or remote building
- free, infinite and pollution-free source
- Even on a cludy day in the UK there is enough sunlight for solar power
- the photovoltaic cells needed to convert sunlight into energy are expensive to produce.
Geothermal energy: energy obtained from rock heated by the earth's core.
- can only be used where the earth's crust is thinnest.
- Low running costs.
Hydro-electric power: energy generated by water spinning a turbine.
- UK is ideally suited as it has high annual rainfall.
- efficent as 90% of the water's energy is converted into electricity
- Requires stepp-sided valleys to build a dam
- Large areas of land need to be flooded to create the reservoirs
- Dams are expensive to build
- Fish and ecosystems are disrupted
Wave and Tidal power
Wave power: energy generated by waves in the sea.
Tidal power: energy generated as the tide goes in or out of a coastal area or estuary.
Fixed wave generators use wave power to force air up a column to turn a turbine. They are easy to build and their small size does not impact on the landscape.
Tidal power stations require river estauries with a large tidal range. They affect the ecosystme badly.
Biofuels: energy generated from organic matter(biomass) including wood and crop.
- Amount of land needed to grow crops
- Amount of energy used in trabsporting crops