• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11

Notes on Solar power.

Free essay example:

  • Safety- The views these proposals with alarm. Today’s scientists say the solar panels are dangerous to commit our country to solar energy. This type of solar technology has never been utilized on such a large scale, and we have no assurance of its long-term safety. Not only one single study has been done to assess the safety of electricity from solar energy as compared to electricity from other much more easily and from other sources.
  • Environmentally Friendly – Solar hosts the most thought of solution, to ease the climate change, because of the energy comes from natural sunlight, which does not give of any carbon dioxide or fossil fuels.
  • Sustainability - Solar energy has been selling consistently good through out the past four years. People, because of the credit crunch are now converting to other reliable sources e.g. coal fires, because it is much cheaper, and way more reliable, compared to solar panels, which don’t look attractive, and the costs have risen.
  • Appropriateness for the UK – It is not that appropriate for the UK because our weather is unpredictable, one day it could be sunny and the next day it could be immense rainfall, and stormy. As the solar panels run from natural sunlight, and they can only work of natural sunlight, or the customer wont have any electricity, so there was no point in the first place of buying and spending a excessive amount of money on a purchase that does not work half of the time.
  • Popularity with the public - Solar panels have been selling ok, thought last year, but as the credit crunch is on, a china firm that makes the soar panels have announced a price drop for 2009, so I think that the popularity will go up this year.
  • Cost – Individual plans start at £9.95 per month, which is £233.50 per year. To have a person come down and fit them for you will cost you (average house) around £560.00, so it is a lot of money.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power
  • http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/solar.htm
  • Book – dictionary of geography 2008 by Susan Mayhew.
  • Geothermal Energy - NOTES
  • Safety - individuals to capture ground-level geothermal energy can use Heat pumps. They do not supply electricity but they can be used to heat water and also for central heating. At the moment, around 1,500 ground source pumps are installed in the UK every year. But in Scotland there has been on incident of a pipe burst under a workers foot, full of hot magma, from the earth, he is now left in a wheelchair, so it can be dangerous.
  • EnvironmentallyFriendly & Sustainability – Geothermal energy is the heat from the earth. It’s clean and sustainable. Resources of Geothermal Energy ranges from the shallow ground to hot water, and hot rock, found miles under the earths crust, and down even further into extremely high temperatures of molten rock called magma.
  • Appropriateness for the UK - Southampton took the decision to create theUK's first Geothermal Power Plant scheme as part of a plan to become a more eco- friendly country, in the UK we only have two geothermal plants the Southampton, and there is one in the North Sea.
  • Popularity with the public - Geothermal Energy is not that popular with the public, because 90% of the public have never even heard of Geothermal Energy, and most people would not like a power plant being set up in the backyard.
  • Cost - Direct use of geothermal energy in homes and commercial operations is much less expensive than using traditional fuels. Savings can be as much as 80% over fossil fuels. Direct use is also very clean, producing only a small percentage (and in many cases none) of the air pollutants emitted by burning fossil fuels. It costs 2.3 million pounds to build.
  • http://www.energy.gov/energysources/geothermal.htm.
  • Safety – from the outset, safety of nuclear reactors has been a very high priority in their design and engineering. About one third of the cost of a typical reactor is due to safety systems and structures. The Chernobyl accident in 1986 was a reminder of the importance of this, whereas the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 shoed that conventional safety systems work. Tat Chernobyl in Ukraine 30 people was killed (from mostly of high levels of radiation) and many more injured or adversely affected. This reactor lacked the basic engineering provisions necessary for licensing in the most parts of the world. At Three Mile Island in the USA with a similarly serious malfunction, the effects were contained and no one suffered any harm or injury.
  • Environmentally Friendly – Nuclear Energy is one of the most un- eco friendly sources of energy that you could possibly have.  But according to the scientists nuclear energy is the future for England, Scotland and Wales.
  • Sustainability - Nuclear Energy is quite sustainable because once you build a power plant which would take about two years, it will only last for thirty years, after that time period is up you have to knock it down and build a new one from fresh. Because after that time period it is classed as a hazard.  
  • Appropriateness for the UK - The UK has 19 reactors generating one fifth of its electricity and all but one of these will be retired by 2023.  New-generation plants are expected to be on line about 2017.
  • UK's first commercial nuclear power reactor began operating in 1956.
  • It has full fuel cycle facilities including major reprocessing plants.
  • Government commitment to the future of nuclear energy is firm due to energy security concerns as current reactors approach the end of operating life and the need to limit CO2 emissions. 
  • UK electricity production is about 400 billion kWh gross, from 74 GWe capacities. Net imports are about 8 TWh. Annual consumption is 355 TWh, or about 5750 kWh/person. And since that coal and oil and other sources of energy is running out fast, we will have to convert with nuclear energy whether we as a nation like it or not.
  • Popularity with the public – Nuclear power is the most unpopular energy source of all, they don’t look very attractive, and because they have to build the power plants in open areas, e.g. the countryside, some people argue that it will wreak the look of the landscape, and you would not like to have one of these massive plants near your house, or visible.
  • Cost - A gas-fired plant can be built for $350 per kilowatt (kW); wind turbines are being installed at less than $1,000/kw. A nuclear plant costs $3,000 to $4,000 per kW to build. Nuclear fuel is relatively cheap compared to other fuels, but only if you ignore spent fuel permanent storage costs. When these and plant decommissioning costs are included, nuclear power is prohibitively more expensive, on a total cost basis, than other energy sources. Even nuclear power advocates are frightened by the prospect that these costs will be astronomical.  http://www.world-nuclear.org/info.h


  • Safety - The tragedy of the January 2, 2006, Sago mine explosion in Tallmansville, West Virginia, reinforces the importance of recognizing the potential hazards in underground coal mining, and the need for systematic safety and health vigilance.  Among potential hazards in mines are methane, a naturally occurring gas that can ignite and explode, and carbon monoxide, a toxic gas that can occur as a byproduct from combustion.
  • Environmentally Friendly – 50/50 because coal is environmentally friendly because it’s one of the Earths natural sources, but on the other hand you are taking away the earths natural resources, which can do damage to the earth.
  • Sustainability - 50/50 again, because its one of the Earths natural resources so it will always be there somewhere. But because in the past people have been using exercise amounts of coal, it is starting to run out.
  • image00.png
  • Appropriateness for the UK - Coal has been used in the UK for hundreds of years, it has always been needed, and it will always be needed for things, but if in the future.
  • Popularity with the public - It is quite popular with the public because normal people use it for coal fires e.g. every day. So I wouldn’t say that it will always be popular with the public, but for now it is.
  • Cost - Coal is the cheapest energy source that you can find, but the costs are now rising because of the resessition
  • image01.png
  • As you can still see as a nation we are still using more coal as a source of energy than anything else.
  • http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topis/minerscue
  • Safety - Wind energy could be classed as safe because the majority of the wind turbines are set out of sea, or on coastlines. But imagine picnicking on a coastline with a massive, and I mean massive type of windmill, with huge propellers above your head, and all around you, it doesn’t look that nice. And if one of those hit you in the head, you would be in great danger of dying. That is why the majority of these are placed out in sea. First to keep hem away from us, and if they are out in sea they can catch more wind and therefore generate more energy.
  • Environmentally Friendly - These are very environmentally friendly because these power by things that harm the environment, the use a natural source which in this case is wind, and wind doesn’t harm the environment
  • Sustainability – Wind energy is an important part of a clean, renewable energy system that we need to develop if we want to reduce air pollution and climate change and improve our quality of life.Wind energy is an important part of a clean, renewable energy system that we need to develop if we want to reduce air pollution and climate change and improve our quality of life. It's just one part of a variety of innovative ways Canada can become more efficient and ultimately more competitive in the 21st century. But wind farms, like any development, need to be sited properly and appropriately. Environmental assessments must be conducted and wind farms placed in areas where they can have the greatest positive effect with the smallest environmental footprint. After all, the whole point of clean energy is to reduce our environmental burden, not make it worse. Wind Energy might be along with nuclear power could be the future of the way our world works.
  • Appropriateness for the UK - Wind energy is appropriate for the UK, yes because we have a lot of coasts which the wind turbines, which could be placed in, we have a lot of country side, which is out of peoples way, and of harms way.
  • Popularity with the public - Wind Energy is popular with some of the public yes, because it is a natural way of getting energy, but others can argue because it is wreaking the landscape, it costs way to much money, and that money could be spent on something else, something more important.
  • Cost - Wind turbines are very expensive, not only to manufacture, but also to put in place e.g. in the sea est. total costs for installing a commercial-scale wind turbine will vary significantly depending on the cost of financing, when the turbine purchase agreement was executed, construction contracts, the type of machine, the location of the project, and other factors. The costs for a commercial scale wind turbine in 2007 ranged from $1.2 million to $2.6 million, per MW of nameplate capacity installed. Most of the commercial-scale turbines installed today are 2 MW in size and cost roughly $3.5 Million installed. Wind turbines have significant economies of scale. Smaller farm or residential scale turbines cost less overall, but are more expensive per kilowatt of energy producing capacity. Wind turbines under 100 kilowatts cost,
  • Roughly $3,000 to $5,000 per kilowatt of capacity. That means a 10 kilowatt machine (the size needed to power an average home) might cost $35,000 $50,000.
  • http://windnet.anl.gov/guide/photo/index.cfm
  • http://windels.anl.gov/wint/hju
  • http://enwikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power


  • Safety - Commission has the largest dam safety program in the United States. The Commission cooperates with a large number of federal and state agencies to ensure and promote dam safety and, more recently, homeland security. Approximately 3,036 dams are in the program. Two-thirds of these dams are more than 50 years old. As dams age, concern over their safety and integrity grows, and oversight and a regular inspection program are extremely important.
  • The Commission staff inspects projects on an unscheduled basis to investigate:
  • Potential dam safety problems;
  • Complaints about constructing and operating a project;
  • Safety concerns related to natural disasters; and
  • Issues concerning compliance with the terms and conditions of a license. Every 5 years an independent consulting engineer, approved by the Commission, must inspect and evaluate projects with dams higher than 32.8 feet (10 meters), or with a total storage capacity of more than 2,000 acre-feet (2.5 million cubic meters).
  • Environmentally Friendly - The major negative effects of hydroelectric power are environmental (destruction of habitats) and social (forced displacement). Large dams raise underground water levels near the lake, which has large effect on the surrounding flora and fauna. Even for projects with reservoirs, there can be supply problems in summer when flow drops.
  • There can be other problems with reservoirs themselves, not just with hydroelectric stations. The latter have been found to emit methane, which is a stronger and more dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. This problem can be virtually eliminated at the design stage, since the gas can be trapped and used for power generation with suitable dam designs.
  • Sustainability – It is sustainable because as Hydro Electric Power is powered by a natural source, in this case it is water, from the sea lakes est., there will always be enough water in the sea to power the machine, so that will never stop.
  • Appropriateness for the UK – It is 50/50 because this is a natural way of getting energy, and nothing is really damaging the environment by doing this, but on the other hand only 2% of the UK’s energy is powered by hydro electric power, and to me there is no point of using these because 2% isn’t that much, it cant even power Wolverhampton.
  • Popularity with the public – 62% of the population on the UK vote no to more hydro – electric power, because of the main and obvious reasons e.g. does little harm to the environment e.c.t.  
  • Cost – This is a cheap, way to get energy, comparing hydropower to other energy generators, the other generators take less time to design, obtain approval, build and recover investment. However, they have higher operating costs and typically shorter operating lives (about 25 years).
  • A hydropower plant has a high capital cost but maintenance costs are only minimal when looking at some other sources of energy production. The plant life can be extended economically by relatively cheap maintenance and the periodic replacement of equipment (replacement of turbine runners, rewinding generators, etc). Typically a hydro plant in service for 40 - 50 years can have its operating life doubled.
  • Comparing the cost of electricity with the initial investment of a hydropower system, the pay back period is short. Theoretically, a hydro plant should be able to produce electricity for a fixed amount during the life span of the unit. The operating costs should not change because there is no associated price to the water. Unlike in fossil fuel plants, the price of natural gas, coal, etc. fluctuates depending on what the market is doing.



  • http://www.power-technology.com/features/feature1459/

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Physical Geography section.

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Related GCSE Geography Skills and Knowledge Essays

See our best essays

Related GCSE Physical Geography essays

  1. Physical Case Studies AQA Revision notes - Ice, rivers and volcanoes.

    * Previous hard engineering methods increased flood risk, so they built a new channel for the river above ground through Sutcliffe Park and created a multi-functional open space (a washland). Reduced risk of flooding for 600 homes and businesses in the area, diverse environment for wildlife Managing Rivers- Kielder Water,

  2. How and why does environmental quality change around Croydon?

    These figures were then averaged so I could display my results on a graph. This was an appropriate number because the transect points were spread out across the CBD, from the heart of the High Street to the virtually deserted suburban areas of East and West Croydon.

  1. The Truth about Climate Change

    to work with four people together in one car, rather than each riding a car. * Save electricity. When you use electricity, you are helping put greenhouse gases into the air. By turning off lights, or any other things which use electricity, when you're not using, you can help a lot.

  2. To delimit the edge of the Central Business district of Nottingham along a transect ...

    This means that most of the buildings will be of the same size due to most houses being of the same class. The data I collected helped me to prove my hypothesis that further down the transect line the length of building frontages will become longer.

  1. How has the landscape developed along the coastline between Prawle Point & Start Bay ...

    It could also be used to build more houses and shops for tourists, which will make more money for Slapton, and boost employment, and therefore increase many peoples' standard of life. Tertiary jobs, such as food shops, banks, gift stores ECT..., play a big role in the economy of Barkingside.

  2. Is There a Relationship Between Desirability and Quality of Life at Ward Level in ...

    They would also be far more familiar with their own area and its surrounding wards and would be far more likely to say they would like to live in one of the surrounding wards. This would bias the results. I need a question that finds the most desirable ward in

  1. With reference to 1 or more detailed case studies explain why most natural hazards ...

    they stand by riverbeds that seem empty and remain empty until the next once-in-a-century storm. The campanian town of Villaggio Coppola di Castelvolturno containing 15 000 inhabitants was created entirely without authorisation. The rising frequency of what Italians call "hydro-geological" disasters in the area, underlines the human cost of such unplanned development.

  2. River Processes Revision Notes and Questions.

    The third method is through Cavitation. This is where air bubbles in turbulent stretches of water implode causing shockwaves which break pieces of rock off the banks and bed. The fourth way is via solution. This is where rock gets dissoloved by chemical process.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work