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Module 1: Basics of Energy Use and Environmental Impact

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Basics of Energy Use and Environmental Impact - Lesson summary

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Whenever we think in terms of different energy systems we need to look at all these terms: primary energy, secondary energy, final energy, useful energy. The energy transition that we are looking at in the future is from fossil fuels to renewables sources. The exponential resource growth will get depleted, so exponential growth can't be sustained indefinitely into the future. The energy use per person has been increasing over time and this is because we have used more and more appliances to make our lives more comfortable. Any human activity needs energy. The history of human development is characterised by increasing use of energy per person. If everyone aspires to have the life of the industrialised countries, the energy demand of the world will grow at much much faster rates then our currently sustainable. Some of the primary commodities are transformed into secondary commodities. When we talk about the energy balance we would like to see in a year how much coal are we using, how much oil, tons of oil, tons of coal or barrels of oils. The plant load factor of a plant is the actual generation of a plant over a period which may be a day or a month or year divided by the maximum possible generation if it is operated continuously at the rated or the design value. The idea is to operate at high plant load factor because whatever investment you have you would like to recover it over a larger number of units. The auxiliary consumption percentage is the auxiliary consumption into 100 divided by the net power output. In the energy flow diagram, we are looking at different primary energy sources, be it solar, biomass, wind, small hydro, geothermal, grid electricity and many of these can generate electricity and then enter the different types of end-users. The energy balance for a region or country allows looking at the trend of that energy balance in that country. Population, income and increased effluent are energy driver systems. The auxiliary consumption percentage is the auxiliary consumption into 100 divided by the net power output. The adverse health impacts can be going from mainly based on local and we can go from local perturbations to global disruptions as the human energy use increase. The human disruption index is the ratio of the human-generated flow of a given pollutant to the natural or the baseline flow. The human impact is something which nature is not able to regenerate or absorb. Anthropocene means that this is an era in which human activity dictates the changes that are occurring on the earth and in the earth's climate. Anthropocene has been shown that is not something that it is going to be sustainable into the future unless we make some changes in the way we develop and operate our energy systems. There are useful goods and services, but in producing that there are unintended impacts that we cannot avoid and these impacts. The carbon dioxide in chlorofluorocarbons is a global pollutant. All these have different types of impact, so what can be done is to modify the properties of atmospheric processes in the case of sulfur dioxide and SOx, these combine and cause precipitation, acidity called acid rain and that can corrode a variety of equipment. , there may be photochemical smog, which affects visibility.