Study Guide

Sustainable Energy

What is Sustainable Development?


Key questions that will be answered…..


What problems are associated with the supply of energy?

·        What are the different types of energy production? (renewable, non-renewable, fossil fuels, nuclear, solar, wind, biofuels, tidal, HEP, waste-to-energy, geothermal)

·        Energy production has high economic costs.  Give examples of the economic issues of energy supply. (Start-up costs, waste disposal, public enquiries)

·        Some forms of energy have environmental concerns.  Give examples of these. (biofuels, nuclear waste, greenhouse gas emissions, large dam projects)

·        How do political decisions influence energy supply? (Carbon trading, Kyoto)

·        Why does technology cause problems for the supply of energy, particularly in LEDCs?


How and why is the demand for energy changing?

·        In nearly all cases demand for energy is increasing – explain why. (Affluence, economic development)

·        How does economic change increase the demand for energy? (industrialisation, globalisation)

·        How do social factors influence the demand for energy? (housing, education, sanitation, health)

·        In what ways can technology change the demand for energy?  (more use of technology = greater demand versus greater efficiency = reduced demand).


How can the demand for energy be sustainably managed?

·        Are alternative sources of energy (renewable energy) more sustainable than traditional methods of energy production? (Economy, environment, society, futurity)

·        Does greater energy efficiency really make energy usage more sustainable?

·        In what ways can demand for energy be reduced? (energy-efficient devices, government campaigns (Act on CO2), home-working, video conferencing)

·        Demand for energy can be managed on a variety of scales – how can it be managed internationally, nationally, locally and by individuals? (Kyoto, government boiler grants, energy supply in new-build housing)


Can a sustainable energy supply be maintained in the future?

·        How sustainable is energy supply and demand in Sweden?

·        Which is a more sustainable approach to meeting energy demand – nuclear power or renewable energy sources?

·        Evaluate the sustainability of the different methods of energy production.  Which options meet the terms of economic, environmental, social and political sustainability?

·        Can economic development be achieved though the use of sustainable energy supply?


Some key terms you should be familiar with…..


Sustainable development                Energy Supply           Nuclear Power           Tidal Power

Wind Power    Solar Power              Energy Efficiency      Biofuels          Hydro-electric power

Futurity            Social Justice            Geothermal energy               Carbon footprints

Kyoto Agreement      reduce, reuse, recycle                      Nuclear Waste           Agenda 21