Contains the full lesson along with a supporting toolkit, including teachers’ notes.
Between 1990 and 2017 the world population increased from 5.3 billion to 7.6 billion, i.e. a 43% increase. During that same period demand for electricity more than doubled worldwide while in the EU it grew by 26%.
Until 2005 over 99% of global electricity was generated from fossil fuels (burning coal, peat, oil or gas), hydro and nuclear energy. Since then the contribution to electricity generation from other energy sources has increased from about 1% to 6.7% globally and from 2.6% to 15% in the EU. These contributions are expected to increase significantly.
On a large scale the demand for electricity varies during the course of the day and from season to season in fairly predictable ways. When demand is low some power stations might be taken off the national grid to be brought on stream again when higher demand is expected. Hydro power is particularly useful for meeting short term peaks in demand.
Like hydro power, wind and solar power are renewable forms of energy. However, unlike hydro power, wind and solar power cannot be turned on just when required. They vary with the weather and time of day in sometimes unpredictable ways. Wind turbines typically require a minimum wind speed of around 10 km/h (3–4 m/s) and solar power cannot operate at night.
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