Enabling students to understand and analyse contemporary issues in science and technology

Energy futures

This topic explores the challenge of reconciling the growing demand for energy resources worldwide with the policy imperative to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Governments aims to provide secure energy resources as cheaply as possible while abiding by international agreements. The topic pays particular attention to electricity supplies and covers nuclear power and renewables as alternatives to fossil-fuel power stations.

Wind farm

Science explanations
The main areas of science that are covered are:

  • energy quantities and the analysis of comparative energy data
  • energy sources including burning fossil fuels, nuclear fission and harnessing renewables,
  • the distinction between primary and secondary sources of energy
  • transfers of energy involved in generating electricity

How science works
Two main aspects of how science works feature in this topic:

  • assessing and managing the risks from new technologies and
  • decision making in an international context where economic, social and environmental factors may lead to different outcomes in different parts of the world.
Resources

Activities

Weblinks

Please find below, a suggested scheme of work for this topic.

Energy futures_Scheme of Work (48 KB)