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NON - RENEWABLE RESOURCES
They take a long time to form and be replaced (replenished)
Easy to mine and cheap to use.
• Natural gas
• Nuclear fuel e.g. uranium and plutonium
Currently non-renewable resources dominate global energy. In 2013 87% of energy consumption was from fossil
DISADVANTAGES OF COAL
• Produces green house gases which contribute to
• Pollutes the environment
• Pollutants from coal can mix with water and create
• The pollutants can cause health problems in
humans e.g. breathing problems, cancer
• Miners who mine coal can get a disease called
DISADVANTAGES OF NUCLEAR ENERGY
• Expensive to establish and run a nuclear power station
• Waste from a nuclear station can be extremely toxic
• Waste needs to be stored properly for 100 of years
• Leaks from waste storage can affect the environment
• Nuclear fall can be detrimental to human’s, plants and
FACTORS AFFECTING THE GLOBAL
DEMAND AND SUPPLY OF ENERGY
ENERGY DEMANDS VARIES WITH POPULATION SIZE
e.g. China with a population of 1,4 billion people consumes approximately 5.5. billion megawatts per hour per year
Afghanistan with a population of just over 30 million consumes approximately 231 100 megawatts per hour per year
ENERGY DEMAND VARIES WITH GDP
e.g. USA consumes 25% of the worlds energy and has a global share of GDP of 22 percent.
ENERGY DEMAND VARIES WITH THE ENERGY POLICY OF A COUNTRY
• If a country focuses on efficiency and sustainability the demand for renewable energy will increase
• If a country focuses on industrialization the demand for non-renewable energy will increase
ENERGY DEMANDS VARIES WITH PHYSICAL FACTORS WITHIN A COUNTRY
• Location of deposits of fossil fuels. E.g. fossil fuels are found in limited number of locations
• Renewable energy locations requires suitable locations e.g. solar power requires a large number of days per year with
• Tidal power requires a very large tidal range
• Wind power requires high average wind speed throughout the year
• Hydro-electric power (HEP) requires high precipitation, steep sided valleys and impermeable rock
• Large power stations require flat land and geologically stable foundations
ENERGY DEMANDS VARIES WITH ECONOMIC FACTORS
• Exploitation of resources – most assessible resources are developed and exploited first and therefore have the lowest cost
• In countries that are less industrialized, foreign direct investment (FDI) is often required to access these resources
• As energy prices rise, companies are more likely to increase spending on exploration and exploitation
ENERGY DEMANDS VARIES WITH POLITICAL FACTORS
• International agreements such as the Kyoto protocol (2008 -2012) can have a significant impact on the way in which nations
organize their energy
• Low Sulfur coal is likely to be favored over high sulfur coal which is in keeping with the climate agreement
• Any country wishing to develop nuclear energy, requires permission from the INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY
• A potential HEP scheme draws water from rivers that cross international borders and they may required agreements from
• Governments within countries may also insist that companies produce a certain proportion of their energy from renewable
EXPLORATION/EXPLOITATION OF ENERGY RESOURCES
The most significant factor in energy supply is RESOURCE ENDOWMENT i.e. the level of energy resources a country can exploit
Generally those countries that have a high level of endowment tend to be more prosperous than those who lack domestic energy resources and
rely heavily on imports. This generally applies to HIC countries
RESOURCE CURSE THEORY
Some LIC countries that have an abundance of non renewable resources , grow more slowly economically. Some of the reasons for this are:
• Volatility of prices on the global market
• Decline in the competitiveness of other economic sectors
• Government mismanagement - e.g. South Africa power supply Eskom is on the brink of collapse due to corruption and government
• Weak and ineffectual exploitation of resources
DEVELOPMENT IN TECHNOLOGY
Development of technology has increased our ability to exploit resources
• New Jersey institute of Technology has developed solar cells that are so thin that they can be embedded into paints and located in places
previously unsuitable for solar panels.
• Oil and gas deep water drilling 34 000 deep water wells in the Gulf of Mexico
• Hydraulic fracking to extract gas from shale is on the increase
• People who are well informed about the environmental impact of energy sources can influence government policy
• According to GREENPEACE hydraulic fracking causes environmental problems e.g. ground water contamination, increase
seismic activity etc. as a result of this an outright ban on fracking has been placed by the National Parks and 13 conditions
must be met before fracking can take place in the UK
TRENDS IN THE CONSUMPTION OF
FOSSIL FUELS, NUCLEAR POWER
AND RENEWABLE ENERGY IN MIC’S
• Global energy consumption grew significantly in 2018, spurred by
the sustained economic growth and rising demand in China,
the world’s largest energy consumer since 2009. Chinese energy
consumption posted its highest growth since 2012, mainly driven by
power generation, strong industrial demand and increasing transport
fuel consumption encouraged by a growing vehicle fleet.
Total energy consumption in the United States reached a record high
of 2.3 Toe in 2018, up 3.5% from 2017, partially driven by weather
conditions (hot summer, cold winter).
• On the contrary, energy consumption
decreased in the European Union (-1%) and
in particular in Germany (-3.5%) partly due
to decreasing consumption in the power
sector, a milder winter, reducing
consumption, and energy efficiency
• Crude oil: +2% driven by explosive growth of shale in the United
• Gas: +5.2% propelled by the United States and Russia, the two
• Coal: +1.9%, led by China, the world’s largest producer
• Electricity: +3.5% with China and the United States accounting for
three quarters of the rise in 2018
• Energy production continued to decline in the European Union,
owing to the slight decline of electricity production from nuclear,
the depletion of oil and gas resources and the climate policy that
eventually implies the exit of coal. This decline comes despite
increased hydro production after a dry year and a moderate
increase in energy consumption.
• Main source of energy in North, South and Central
America as well as Africa.
• Makes up approximately 50% of the energy used in the
• The middle east made up approximately 48% of all
reserves (stored oil) and 32% of all production
• 13% of the Global production is in Saudi Arabia
• Main energy source in Asia Pacific regions
• Europe, Eurasia, Asia Pacific and North
America have evenly spread coal reserves
• China dominates coal production (47%) and
• Asia Pacific region consumes over 70% of the
global total of coal
• Main source of energy in Europe and Eurasia
• Production increased from 3066 billion m3 in 2008 to
3369 billion m3 in 2013
• the USA (22%) and Russia (12%) are the two largest
consumers of natural gas
• Many European countries e.g. France use nuclear
power as their primary source of energy
• China, South Korea and India are expanding production
in Nuclear energy
• India aims to have 25% of its electricity produced by
nuclear power in 2050
• The USA is the biggest consumer of Nuclear power
(33% of the global total)
HYDROELECTRIC POWER (HEP)
• China, Brazil, and the USA produce nearly 55% of
the global total
• Costa Rica generated 100% of its energy from
renewable sources for 75 days in 2015.
• Excellent infrastructure and unusually heavy rain
in 2014 enabled Costa Rica’s 4 hydro-electric
plants to work so efficiently
• Wind power doubles in capacity every 3
• Wind power capacity in 2014 was 336
gigawatts (GW) making up 4% of the global
Biofuels can be made from a range of crops, including oilseed, corn and sugar.
USA is the biggest biofuel producer
Ethanol fuel stations are found throughout Brazil
(a) Use Fig. 4.1 to describe the advantages of using biogas digesters to provide energy at the local scale. 
(b) Suggest three ways that the use of biofuels can cause environmental problems. 
TRENDS IN LIC’S
• High income earners have access to electricity
• 90% of total energy consumption in LIC’s come from biomass e.g. firewood, biogas etc.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF
• Cost benefit – increase demand
could reduce cost
• Easy to source
• Reduces green house gas emissions
• Economic security
• Reduce dependence on foreign oil
• High cost of production
• Use of fertilizers could cause water
• Industrial pollution – production
release pollution into the
• Cost of research and installation
could cause the cost of biofuels to
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF
ENERGY PRODUCTION, TRANSPORT
& USE AT LOCAL AND GLOBAL LEVEL
As energy insecurity increases, energy companies have had to exploit technically difficult and environmentally sensitive areas
1. Trans-Alaska pipeline (TAP)
Friends of the earth, Wilderness society and Environmental defense fund started a lawsuit to stop the project in1970
• Stunt the growth of artic trees
• Prevent Caribou migration.
2. DEEP WATER HORIZON DISASTER
• An explosion on the Deep water Horizon oil rig occurred on the 20th of April 2010
• 4.9 million barrels of oil spilt into the Gulf of Mexico over 87 days
• Over 3300 species of bird and marine life were affected
• 32 dolphins caught off the coast of Louisiana in 2013 were either dead or dying
• Concerns that the oil spill could remain in the food chain for generations
• Methods to control the oil spill included oil dispersants, floating booms, skimmer ships and control burns
CHINA’S ENERGY STRATEGY
• 2009 China over took the USA as the worlds top energy user
• This growth can be explained by China’s rapid industrialization, its large population and its growing middle class which creates
an increase demand for energy.
• 2011 China’s energy was dominated by coal (69%) Oil (18%), HEP (6%), natural gas (4%) and other renewables (1%)
• China also over took the world as the highest CO2 emitter, it released 8715 million metric tones in 2011
1. ENGERY STRATEGY – 12TH FIVE YEAR PLAN (2011 -2015)
• Ensured more sustainable growth and investment in environmental protection industries
• They have replaced many of their older power plants with more efficient technologies
• These cleaner power plants have an efficiency of up to 44% meaning that CO2 emissions are cut by a third
• China has plans to build over 360 coal fired power stations
• Most will be built in the east of the country
• 60% will be concentrated in the provinces of inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Shanxi and Hebei.
• However these provinces have very little water so there is competition between coal production and agricultural production
for the use of water.
3. PETROLEUM RESERVES
• China is developing strategic petroleum reserves
• In 2007 the Chinese government said that there would be an expansion of the reserves so that by 2020 it would hold
approximately 209 million barrels of oil in reserve.
• Most of these reserves will be held in the government controlled facilities located in Liaoning, Shandong and Zhejiang
4. RENEWABLE ENERGY
• In 2013 China generated a total of 378 GW from renewable energy
• Long term estimates suggest that by 2050 China will be producing 50 to 70% of its energy from renewable sources
5. WIND POWER
• China’s large land mass and long coastline provide suitable conditions for wind power generations
• The Gansu wind farm project is like to become the largest single generator of wind power in the world
• It should generate approximately 20 000 MW of energy by 2020
6. THE NATIONAL ENERGY COUNCIL (NEC)
• Since 2010 the NEC has been responsible for drafting the countries energy policies and ensuring energy security
• The NEC has developed a range of policies to encourage and develop renewable energy e.g. “The golden sun project”
which provides financial subsidies, technological support and market incentives to promote the development of the solar
THE THREE GORGES DAM – CHINA – RENEWABLE
BACK GROUND INFORMATION
• World largest electricity generating power plant
• Greatest producer of Hydro-electric power
• The dam spans the Yangtze River at Sandouping in Heibei province
• The dam was completed and fully functional on the 4th of July 2012
• The dam took 18 years to construct and cost 26 billion dollars.
ENERGY GENERATING CAPACITY
• The dam houses 32 turbines with a capacity of 700 MW each
• The capacity of the plant is 22 500 MW
• Expanded the Yangtze rivers shipping capacity. Water levels
upstream increased by 90m which transformed the rivers rapids into
lakes which allowed ships to function upstream
• Reduced flooding downstream. It is estimated that approximately 10
million people will be protected from flooding as the dam provides
additional flood storage.
• Reduced China’s dependence on coal. The dam provides electricity
to 2 cities and 9 provinces
• At full capacity the 3 gorges dam reduced China’s dependence on
coal by 31 million tones per year. Which avoids over 100 million
tones of greenhouse gas emissions.
• 80% of the land surrounding the dam is eroding and depositing about 40 million tones of sediment into the Yangtze river
every year. This sediment builds up behind the dam wall so that areas downstream are not getting enough sediment making
them more vulnerable to flooding and reducing aquatic biodiversity.
• The dam sits on a seismic fault which causes the area to be prone to earthquakes and landslides.
- in 2010 there were 97 significant landslides
- in May 2009 50 000 cubic meters of sediment plunged into the Wuxia Gorge.
- Between June 2003 and December 2009 there was a 30 fold increase in seismic events compared to the pre-dam period
• 1,24 million residents were relocated from the area where the dam was going to be built.
- many of these people had to move more than once.
- 140 000 people were relocated to other provinces
- people were relocated to areas where the soil was not so fertile so farming activities suffered.
• Construction of the dam also affected cultural sites
-600km long reservoir raised the level of the dam by more than 90m which destroyed over 1300 archeological sites
- Many of the hanging coffins on the Shennong stream Gorge limestone cliffs were lost or destroyed.
Environmental degradation is the
deterioration of the environment
through an increase of pollutants,
improper land use and natural
The impact of pollution depends on the nature of the pollution
Sometimes pollutants can be spread across local and international
Watch the video of the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster and discuss its social,
environmental and economic impacts on local and surrounding areas
A vast majority of chemicals released into the atmosphere are toxic.
At a high enough dosage they can damage plant and animal organisms
Sulphur dioxide causes respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses and can
lead to acid rain.
• Pollution is dominated by agriculture and mining
• Industrialization, manufacturing, energy production and transportation are becoming the major polluters
BHOPAL DISASTER 1984
• Demand for fresh water is doubling every 20 years
• Approximately 750 million people lack access to safe
• UN estimates that two thirds of the worlds population will
experience severe water stress by 2025
• A country experiences water stress when the amount of
water falls below 1700 m3 per person per year
• Water scarcity is when the supply of water falls below
Water scarcity is a major world environmental problem threatening to put the worlds food supply in jeopardy, limit economic
and social development and create serious conflict between neighboring drainage basin countries
Many of the worlds largest rivers are drying up due to over-use and climate change
• Colorado river
• Indus river
• Rio Grande
• Yellow river
• Teesta river
• Murray river
PHYSICAL WATER SCARCITY
• Demand for water is greater than the regions ability to provide water
• Associated with arid and semi arid areas that experience high
temperatures and evapotranspiration rates as well as low precipitation
• Climate change can result in some areas experiencing drought
(prolonged period of little or no rainfall) e.g. Ethiopia, Sudan, Morocco,
• Physical water scarcity also occurs where water seems abundant but is
being over-utilized through energy generation, irrigation, hydraulic
ECONOMIC WATER SHORTAGES
• Occurs when the population does not have the funds to utilize the available water resources.
• Lack of investment in water infrastructure – people generally collect water in buckets from the river because there is
a lack of water infrastructure
• Most of Africa experiences economic water scarcity
• Investing in water infrastructure will help to reduce poverty and increase productivity in LIC’s
• Providing people with adequate fresh water will also improve health conditions
The amount of water used to produce or other products and which is
embedded within the item
One orange requires 62,7 liters of water. Israel discourages the export of
oranges to prevent large quantities of water
From being exported to other parts of the world.
Global trade in water has been estimated at 2320 billion m3 per year
which is equivalent to 29 river Niles
Rural areas have been rapidly degraded due to:
• Policy failure
• Rural inequalities
• Resource imbalances
• Unsustainable technologies
• Trade relationships
Due to the green revolution, globalization has meant that large scale capital intensive farming of livestock, fish, and crops
Large scale agriculture in many LIC’s are controlled by TNC’s
Large agricultural industries need to increase their share of the market and
reduce costs to be more competitive
Practices on these farms involves a high level of:
• Heavy use of fertilizer
Research how the above factors causes degradation of the rural environment
FACTORS IN THE DEGRADATION OF URBAN ENVIRONMENTS
Urbanization is a shift in population from rural to urban areas – increase in population of an urban area.
The impacts of rapid urbanization on the environment
• Loss of agricultural land
• Loss of habitat
• Loss of biodiversity
• Decrease in ground water supply
• Change in local climates i.e. urban heat island
CASE STUDY – URBANIZATION IN KADUNA
METROPOLIS - NIGERIA
• Inadequate infrastructure development
• Inadequate waste management which leads to land and water pollution
• Wide spread dumping of non-biodegradable rubbish in urban drains, which could lead to flooding when the drains get
CASE STUDY – AIR POLLUTION FROM
INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT IN URBAN AREAS
Rapid industrial development has created large scale environmental problems in urban areas.
Half of the worlds most polluted cities in 2014 were in India.
• New Delhi has the highest concentration of airborne particulate matter (pm)
• Pakistan and Bangladesh also has a high concentration of air pollution
• China has waged a war against air pollution and has reduced its 56 compared to New Delhi’s concentration of 153
CASE STUDY – WASTE DISPOSAL IN CHINA
• From 2005 – 2010 Beijing collected an average of 3900 tones of rubbish per day.
• China’s waste management companies favor incineration rather than landfill sites
• In 2003 approximately 2% of China’s waste was incinerated
• 90 new incineration plants are due to be opened by 2015
• China used to import garbage from other countries e.g. USA/UK/Japan
• The imported garbage was poorly sorted and it contained hazardous substances which caused environmental problems
• China placed a ban on 24 types of imported garbage.
• China introduced proper recycling and waste sorting.
• Beijing and Shanghai become the first pilot cities to provide garbage sorting.
• By 2020 more than 46 cities will have access to garbage sorting machines
CONSTRAINTS TO MANAGING A DEGRADED
1. RURAL URBAN MIGRATION
• It is estimated that over 100 000 people per day move from rural areas to urban areas.
• Many of these people live in slums on marginal land
• In these slums waste management infrastructure is minimal and environmental conditions can deteriorate drastically
e.g. Environmental degradation caused by rural urban migration in Mexico city
Watch the video about rural urban migration in Mexico and create a case study.
2. POOR MANAGEMENT AT A LOCAL OR NATIONAL GOVERNMENT LEVEL
• Poor management at local and national level can make improvements to a degraded environment extremely difficult.
• E.g. in Southern Africa poorly managed land tenure policies have replaced the traditional ways of managing the
• Land tenure refers to a legal term in which land is owned by an individual i.e. the person who holds the land.
• This leads to conflict for fertile land, minerals deposits etc. which destabilizes the country and leads to conflict.
Read the above link and formulate a case study about the problems experienced in Ghana with regards to the land tenure
3. CIVIL WAR
• Civil war in the DRC, Mozambique and Angola has led to resources being plundered
• large areas of land become useless because of land mines
• Infrastructure is destroyed which leads to greater degradation of the environment
4. LACK OF FINANCES
• Many degraded environments require substantial investment both
in terms of institutional and environmental costs
• E.g. Integrated basin management, water pollution reduction
programs, and rural road maintenance require high technical and
institutional costs that are often beyond the means of many LIC’s
• Many of these solutions take time and financiers may withdraw
their support if these solutions are not short term.
PROTECTION OF ENVIRONMENTS AT RISK-
NEEDS, MEASURES AND OUTCOMES
We can determine an environment at risk of land degradation by assessing their needs, measures and risks.
NEEDS – strategies that need to be implement to reduce environmental degradation
MEASURES – policies and practices that can be implemented in order to achieve these outcomes
OUTCOMES – measures of success of the strategies
Wilderness areas – environment is protected by law and human influence from outside is totally banned.
• E.g. there are 12 wilderness areas in the Sami native region in Northern Finnish Lapland.
• Activities such as Reindeer husbandry, hunting, collecting of fire wood are permitted as long as these activities are
• Limit human activity and development and educate people on nature conservation
• There are 6555 national parks across the world
• North east Greenland national is the largest
Managing populations that have to support huge populations
e.g. in Cambodia shifting cultivation has degraded the land causing
the local population to migrate, find other forms of
Employment or occupy other plots of land illegally.
• The country needs to ensure sustainable agricultural practices
• Promoting land reforms so that local people have greater land
• Creating an action plan for sustainable agriculture
• Integrating pest management and environmentally sustainable
CASE STUDY MANAGEMENT OF A DEGRADED
ENVIRONMENT - DAFUR
Read and understand the article on environmental degradation in Dafur and create a case study on the management of a