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Unit 5 Energy Challenges. Section 1: Introduction. Industrialized nations rely on vast quantities of readily available energy to provide what (2) services? (1) power their economies

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Unit 5

Energy Challenges


Industrialized nations rely on vast quantities of readily available energy to provide what (2) services?

  • (1) power their economies
  • (2) produce goods and services
  • As populations increase in developing countries, what do citizens demand?
  • better standards of living
  • What will happen to global energy demand as populations increase?
  • global energy demand will continue to rise
  • Who accounts for a growing share of the total world demand of available energy?
  • developing nations


2. Today most of the world's

energy is derived from these,

which are non-renewable resources

available only in limited supply.

fossil fuels

In contrast, many alternative

sources of energy are renewable

resources because their supplies are refreshed faster than humans consume them. Name three renewable sources.

wind, solar, and hydropower


3. Who has profited from exploiting energy sources? Human society

  • During what time period did energy use become much more efficient?
  • Industrial Revolution
  • What are we deeply dependent upon now?
  • reliable, cheap sources of energy
  • It is stated that energy consumption does not directly improve what?
  • improve the human condition
  • Rather, what matters are the that serviceswe generate using energy.


"Customers don't want lumps of coal, raw kilowatt-hours, or barrels of sticky black goo. Rather, they want the services that energy provides: hot showers and cold beer, mobility and comfort, spinning shafts and energized microchips, baked bread and smelted aluminum. And they want these 'end uses' provided in ways that are secure, reliable, safe, healthful, fair, affordable, durable, flexible, and innovation friendly."

Amory B. Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins, "Mobilizing Energy Solutions," The American Prospect, January 28, 2002


4. Modern societies consume vast amounts of material resources. List (5) material resources.

metals, minerals, stone, chemicals, and fibers

In most cases, these materials are abundant enough that they can be considered what?

These materials are considered either renewable or available in such quantities that we will not soon deplete them.

State the main concerns associated with material resources.

Concerns are generally the costs and the environmental impacts of extracting, transporting, and refining the materials.


Mineral Strip Mine


5. List what scientists who study energy and material resources seek to understand.

Scientists seek to understand what types of resources are available and where they can be found, and to develop new technologies for locating, extracting, and exploiting them.

List ways to derive more benefits from material resources.

By discovering new supplies and using more energy and materials derives more benefits.

We can use these resources more efficiently, so that we obtain a rising amount of servicefrom a constant level of inputs.

Over the longer term, scientific and technological advances may enable societies to do what with energy sources?

substitute new energy sources and material stocks for old ones


6. But changing from one resource type to another involves more than simply discovering a new mineral deposit or developing a new technology. What else does it mean?

It also means altering the systems that produce, process, and distribute these resources.


Section 2:

Thinking About Supply


7. What are so central to our lifestyle in developed countries, that they often make news when prices rise and supplies tighten?

  • energy and other mineral resources
  • National leaders and consumers alike ask what three questions about energy and mineral resources?
  • (1) How much of the scarce resource remains?
  • (2) When it will run out?
  • (3)What alternatives exist?



8. In reality, societies never use up nonrenewable resources completely or exploit the entire flow of renewable resources.

  • Put these phrases in the correct numerical order as to what societies do with resources.
  • ___3___ a. as demand grows and a resource becomes scarce, its price rises.
  • __2___b. as demand rises find and exploit other lower-quality sources
  • __5___c. technologies for locating, extracting, and processing the resource are improved.
  • __4___d. demand is reduced and gives explorers incentive to develop sources that are lower-quality and/or more expensive to exploit
  • __ 1___e. find and exploit the best deposits and sites

9. Rising prices spur the development of substitutes that were uneconomic when the original resource was cheap. For example, high oil prices are driving significant investments today into fuel production from plant sources .

  • What is the race between in regards to energy and material resources?
  • The race is finding new supplies and exploiting them more efficiently on one hand and declining resource abundance and/or quality on the other.

In the words of Sheikh Zaki Yamani, a former oil minister of Saudi Arabia,

"The Stone Age did not end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil"


10. The concepts of stocks and flows are important in thinking about resource supplies. Compare and contrast a stock and a flow.

A stock is the amount of material in a certain deposit or reservoir

Flow refers to the rate at which new material is added to the stock (inflow) or removed from the stock (outflow).

What determines whether the stock grows, shrinks, or remains constant?

The net flow rate (inflow minus outflow) determines whether the stock grows, shrinks, or remains constant.



11. Non-renewable resources are limited by the size of their stock, but energy developers consider stocks on several levels. Explain what is meant by the total U.S. copper resources.

Total U.S. copper resources include all known copper deposits and those that are estimated or believed to exist, even if they cannot be economically found or extracted with today's technology.

What are reserves?

Reserves are the subset of this supply whose location is known or very likely based on geological evidence and that can be extracted profitably with current technology at current prices.


Landslide at Bingham Canyon Mine, Utah l


11. cont.

  • What are unrecoverable or ultimately recoverable reserves?
  • Reserves that will require technical advances to locate and develop economically
  • These categories are imprecise and shift as what happens?
  • These categories are imprecise and shift as exploration and technology breakthroughs enable us to recover supplies that once were out of reach.

Energy resources are not static because

the boundaries between recoverable

and unrecoverable reserves shift

as technology improves


12. Use of renewable resources is limited by what?

  • The use of renewable resources is limited by their flow rate.
  • What are the (2) types of flow?
  • total flow and exploitable flow