IGCSE Geography Energy and Water


Terms in this set (...)

Benefits of higher energy consumption
electricity makes tasks easier, transport systems use oil, industry uses energy to work
Problems with higher energy consumption
Will eventually run out of non-renewable energy sources soon. The burning of fossil fuels for energy is resulting in air pollution and accelerates the rate of global warming. Countries might conflict with each other over lack of energy supplies. Nuclear power not very safe.
renewable energy
Energy that can be reused over and over
fossil fuels
Coal, oil, natural gas, and other fuels that are ancient remains of plants and animals
A liquid fossil fuel formed from marine organisms that is burned to obtain energy and used in the manufacture of plastics.
advantages of oil
Easy to transport by pipes/tankers(large vehicles.) Less polluting than coal when burnt. Can be used as raw material in chemical industry. Needs to be used for motor vehicles.
disadvantages of oil
Burning oil produces greenhouse gases which accelerate global warming. Oil spills from tanks/pipes can kill wildlife. Oil production is only in a small amount of countries, meaning they control the prices. Work on oil rigs can be dangerous.
petrochemical industry
The industry that uses the products of oil
refineries to manufacture products
like plastics.
Compounds composed of only carbon and hydrogen
the generalized term for any narrow shaft bored in the ground, either vertically or horizontally. A borehole may be constructed for many different purposes, including the extraction of water or other liquid (such as petroleum) or gases
oil rigs
what are built in the water in order to get oil and natural gas that is beneath the ocean floor
sedimentary rock that formed from trees growing in tropical swamp forests. burnt for energy.
sedimentary rocks
Formed when particles of broken rock and organic materials are pressed and cemented together to form new rocks. Sediments are mud, sand, pebbles, shells, bones, leaves, and stems. Some rocks of this type can be sandstone, limestone, and gypsum.
non-renewable energy
a source of energy that exsists in limited quantities and once used, cannot be replaced except over the course of millions of years
coal seams
coal is found in these layered formations
problems with deep mining
Visual pollution from coal storage, railway lines and mine buildings on surface. Possibility of subsidence, when surface collapses into old workings. Dangers to miners from accidents such as explosions/collapse of mine. Needs greater initial capital compared to opencast.
problems with opencast mining
Visual pollution from the big pit that's excavated. Temporary loss of land for other uses while mining happens. Noise from machinery/blasting. Dust, if pit becomes dry.
A slowdown in economical activity
natural gas
A gas with high methane content, found along with various fossil fuels and is used as a fuel.
advantages of natural gas
Electricity generation using natural gas is less expensive to build than oil. Gas fired generating plants are less expensive to build than other plants e.g. coal/nuclear. Easy to transport by pipes/tankers(large vehicles.) Less polluting than coal when burnt. Can be used as raw material in chemical industry.
disadvantages of natural gas
Burning gas produces greenhouse gases which accelerate global warming. gas leaks from tanks/pipes can kill wildlife. Gas production is only in a small amount of countries, meaning they control the prices. Work on rigs can be dangerous.
Wood used for fuel, for cooking/keeping warm etc.
problems with fuelwoods
Natural woodland is being cut faster than it can regenerate, so families have to walk farther to get wood, resulting in time lost-children might miss out on education. Deforestation lead to exhaustion of soil, so the forest can't grow back. Burning wood in confined spaces on inefficient stoves leads to respiratory (breathing) problems.
development of fuelwoods
Planting more trees, and constantly planting them. Managing woodland and carefully pruning/thinning to encourage growth. Introduction of fast-growing species. Fuel efficient stoves, which cause less smoke.
renewable energy supplies
Hydroelectricity, geothermal power, wind power, solar power & bio fuels.
reasons for growth of renewable energy
Anticipated increase in oil prices. Environmental impacts of fossil fuels (global warming.) Concerns over the sustainability of fossil fuels. Government incentives to increase use of renewable energy.
geothermal energy
Energy extracted from hot rocks beneath the earth's surface.
volcanic sources
Groundwater is heated by magma, up to 1000 degrees Celsius. Groundwater is under pressure so it doesn't boil and evaporate. Borehole is then sunk into the rocks, and the hot groundwater rushes up and turns into steam due to the reduction in pressure. This steam is then used to drive turbines or heat water to drive turbines. The condensed water is then pumped back into the ground.
geothermal aquifers
Layers of rocks which contain hot water. The hot water is pumped out and a heat exchange extracts the heat. The cold water is then pumped back into the ground.
advantages of geothermal power
Almost entirely emission free
Zero carbon
The process can scrub out sulfur that might have otherwise been released
No fuel required (no mining or transportation)
Not subject to the same fluctuations as solar or wind
Smallest land footprint of any major power source
Virtually limitless supply
Inherently simple and reliable
Can provide base load or peak power
Already cost competitive in some areas
Could be built underground
Some level of geothermal energy available most places
New technologies show promise to utilize lower temperatures
disadvantages of geothermal power
Prime sites are very location-specific
Prime sites are often far from population centers
Losses due to long distance transmission of electricity
Water usage
Sulfur dioxide and silica emissions
High construction costs
Drilling into heated rock is very difficult
Minimum temperature of 350F+ generally required
Care must be taken to manage heat and not overuse it
wind power
The use of a windmill to drive an electric generator
advantages of wind power
-It does not cause air pollution, global warming or acid rain.
-It has very little effect on the local ecosystem, except very occasionally killing birds that get caught in the blades.
-In Europe, the wind is strongest in winter, when demand for electricity peaks.
-After the initial capital input, production is cheap because the fuel is free.
-Wind farms may provide a small source of income for farmers.
disadvantages of wind power
-It cannot e used during calm periods or storms.
-Many people consider wind farms to be a form of visual pollution-especially in areas of natural beauty.
-The technology is relatively new and at present very large numbers of turbines are needed to generate fairly modest amounts of electricity.
solar power
energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy
advantages of solar power
-It is safe and pollution-free
-After the initial capital input, production is cheap because the fuel is free.
-It can be used effectively for low-power uses, such as heating swimming pools or central heating.
-Its greatest potential is in warm and sunny countries, or in LEDC's where people live in locations that are isolated from the national effectively grids
disadvantages of solar power
-The initial capital input in high
-It is not as effective in cloudy countries
-It is less effective in high-latitude countries, where more power is needed in the winter but the days are shorter and the sun is lower in the sky-giving lees light.
- It is less effective for high-output uses, such as powering colour TVs.
solar panels - photovoltaic cells
When more solar energy is generated than is being used, it can be stored in a battery or exported to the national utility grid
Fuels, such as ethanol or methanol, that are created from the fermentation of plants or plant products.
Bioethanol is an alcohol made by fermentation from carbohydrates
a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl
Biogas typically refers to a mixture of gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen.
solid biofuels
Can be used in power stations and in the heating systems of houses and other building. Special fuels and boilers are needed to make use of this energy source.
advantages of biofuels
-Prices could be more stable than world oil prices.
-Suppliers can be more secure and reduce reliance on imported fuels.
-Fewer pollutants are produced than by than fossil fuels.
-They are "carbon-neutral", because the growing source crops absorb carbon dioxide from the air which balances the emissions from the burning fuel.
disadvantages of biofuels
-IN the period from 2008-2011, some land previously used for the production of food was changing to produce crops for biofuel production instead. This led to increases in world food prices and decreases in the food supply.
power stations
The places where electricity is generated.
reasons for growth in electricity
LEDCs. As their standards of living begin to rise, there will be an increasing demand for home appliances(like televisions)as well as services(offices)- all which consume electricity
hydroelectric power
Electricity generated by flowing water
sites for hydroelectric power stations
-a large river
-a large falling distance(head) of water
-a constant flow of water throughout the year
-a narrow valley to provide a good dam site
advantages of hydroelectric power stations
-Once a dam is construed, electricity can be produced at constant rate.
-The power stations can respond quickly to changing demand, as explained above.
-There are no fuel costs.
-The reservoir that forms behind the dam can be user for water sported and leisure activities.
-The stored water can also used for irrigation and other purposes.
-There is no atmosphic.
disadvantages of hydroelectric power stations
-Dams are extremely expensive to build, and they must operate for many decades to make a profit
-The flooding of large areas of land means that the environment is destroyed, along with natural habitats and historical or archaeological features.
-People living in the villages and towns of the valleys to be flooded must move. In some countries, people are forcibly removed so that hydroelectric power schemes can go ahead.
nuclear power stations
Power station generating electricity from the energy stored inside atoms - energy is released by the controlled splitting apart of large atoms (nuclear fission)
factors affecting the location of nuclear power stations
-Like other power stations. Large flat sites are needed for the plant and for cooling towers.
-The volume of raw material is so small that this is not a factor.
-Pure water is need for cooling. Sea water will not do, unless it is desalinated. However, sea water has been used in emergencies.
advantages of nuclear power
-Only very small amounts of uranium are needed to produce large amounts of energy.
-Uranium ore will not ran out in the foreseeable.
-It does not produce greenhouse gases and acid rain.
-The safety record of nuclear power stations has improved and the industry is high regularly
disadvantages of nuclear power
-The earthquake in Japan in March 2011 caused an explosion and leakage of radioactive material at the Fukushima nuclear power stations. This raised questions about the safety of nuclear power stations in earthquake zones.
-Nuclear power stations produce material that is also the raw material of nuclear weapons, so there can be serious security concerns.
agriculture use
Areas of the world where the rainfall is so low that it's difficult, or even impossible, to grow crops without irrigation
domestic usage
In MEDCs, people use large volumes of water each day for washing, flushing toilets, watering gardens and even washing cars. In many LEDCs, this luxury is not available
industrial usage
Many industries use large volumes of water in processing(paper)and cooling(power stations)
water deficit
When the amount of water evapo-transpired is more than the amount of water that falls from precipitaion
water surplus
When the amount of water that falls from precipitation is more than the amount of water that is evapo-transpired.
factors leading to surplus
-The amount of precipitation
-The proximity of rivers
-The presence of water-bearing rocks
factors leading to deficit
-Temperature and the amount of evaporation
-The importance of agriculture
-The level of economic development
-The pollution density
Iceland- general usage
5 major geothermal power stations
24%electricity is produced from geothermal energy
75% from hydroelectricity
1%From fossil fuels
Plans are underway to turn Iceland into 100% fossil fuel-free nation in the near furture
Germany - pollution from coal fired power
Lignite fuel burn in pure oxygen so later the produce water and CO2 and become liquid and solid rather than gassas
Germany - nuclear power stations
Has 17 power station,but needed to find a place to put the waste
Germany - move to renewable energy
Decided phase out nuclear energy in 1998,and cancelled in 2009.If phase out nuclear energy ,than need to rely on other country for electricity
Germany - goal by 2050
Germany are thinking to switch to 100% renewable energy in 2050.It can also created more jobs for people