Geography 1500F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: World Energy Outlook, Energy Poverty, Fossil Fuel

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1500f: Lecture 13: October 31st, 2016: Energy systems
What is energy?
The ability to do work
Nearly all energy on Earth comes from the sun
Renewable sources (replenished at the same rate they are used) and non-
renewable sources of energy
High-carbon and low-carbon sources
World Energy Outlook 2015 headlines
1. Many people lack sufficient energy to live the lives they want to live
2. There are major geographic differences in energy production and use
3. Fossil field use contributions to climate change and is not shrinking fast enough
4. The energy sector is crucially important in economic terms
1. Many people lack sufficient energy to live the lives they want to live
1.2 billion lack access to electricity
2.7 billion use solid biomass for cooking (wood, charcoal, dung, crop waste)
Energy poverty
Lacking reliable access to safe, affordable energy when it is needed
o Example 1: first nations communities in Northern Ontario served by
unreliable diesel generators
o Example 2: city dwellers in Venezuela facing regular blackouts earlier this
year
o Example 3: elderly pensioners in UK who can’t afford to heat their homes
enough
Biomass
Heating and cooking with solid biomass has severe health consequences
o Fine particulate matter causes respiratory diseases, heart disease,
stroke, lung cancer
o 4 million premature deaths a year are linked to cooking indoors with solid
fuels
burning wood/charcoal contributes to deforestation
“energy ladder” idea
2. There are major geographic differences in energy production and use
Global energy use patterns
OECD countries
o High use per person
o Phasing out coal
o Some efficiency measures
China
o High total use, but near world average per person
o High coal use (declining) and renewables (growing)
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