reasons for variation in energy supply

the reasons for variation in energy supply

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physical

  • deposits of fossil fuels only found in limited muber of locations
  • large scale HEP development needs, high percipitation, major steep sided valleys, impermable rock
  • large power stations need flat land and geologically stabel foundations
  • solar power needs large number of days with strong sunlight
  • wind power needs high average wind speeds
  • tidal power needs large tidal range
  • avaliability of biomass varies due to climatic conditions
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economic

  • most accessible, lowest cost deposits of fossil fuels are developed first
  • onshore oil/gas deposits are easier to develop than offshore deposits
  • potential HEP sites near transport links and existing electricity corridors are more economical to develop than those in inaccessible areas
  • poorer countries need foreign direct investment to develop energy sources
  • when energy prices rise, companies spend more on exploration and development
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political

  • countries wanting to develop nuclear energy need permission from international atomic energy agency
  • international agreements have a consaiderable influence on energy decisions from individual countries
  • potential HEP schemes on international rivers may need agreement from other countries to use the river
  • governments can insist energy companies produce a certain amount of their energy from renewable energy sources
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variable energy patterns over time

  • technological development- nulclear energy has only been avaliable since 1954, oil/gas can be extrwzcted from much deeper waters than in the past, and renewable technology is advancing
  • increasing national wealth- as avergar incomes increase, living standards improve meaning more energy is needed along with a greater variety of sources
  • changes in demand- britains trains used to be fuelled by coal along with people homes. before gas was discovered in the North sea, britians gas came from coal
  • changes in price- the relative prices of different energy types can influence demand. electricity production in UK has switched from coal to gas as power stations are cheaper to run on natural gas
  • environmental/public opinion- public opinion influences decisions made by governement. people are better informed about environmental impacts of energy sources now
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