UK Energy Mix

In this activity students use current data to investigate  the UK’s energy sources.

Go to gridwatch.co.uk and use the table and the key at the bottom of the page to complete the following table. This website shows you where the UK’s electric power is coming from and what the total demand (use) is and has been over the past year.

(1 GW = 1 000 000 000W)

energy source table
  1. In some of the boxes, you may see a negative number – what does that mean?
  2. What is the total net amount of power we are currently getting from France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway?
  3. For the power generated in the UK, highlight all renewable energy sources.
  4. What is the total amount of power we are currently generating from fossil fuels in the UK?
  5. Looking at the graph headed ‘yesterday’, when would have been the best time to charge an electric car, if you wanted to use as much renewable power as possible? Why?
  6. Looking at the graph headed ‘last year’ which season(s) have the most energy generated by solar energy?
  7. Which season(s) have the most energy generated by wind energy?

Extension

By looking at the total energy demand, and the production by wind energy, what can you deduce is the purpose of gas turbines?

Can you see any correlation between wind output and gas turbine output?

Opportunity for Group Work

Make a poster or presentation showing what you have learned.

A New Power Station

A new kind of gas-fired power station releases on average 1.73×104 kg of pure carbon dioxide (CO2) every day. It also uses the heat of exhaust gases to provide community heating so the carbon dioxide leaving the power station is at same temperature as the environment. The density of CO2 as it leaves the power station is 1.98 kg/m³.

 

a) What volume of pure CO2 will be emitted from the power station each day? 

[2 marks]

The CO2 now enters the atmosphere and is ‘diluted’ by other air molecules and therefore occupies a larger volume. In the atmosphere, for every million (1000000) air molecules, there are 400 CO₂ molecules. 

b) Work out the volume that the diluted CO2 will now take up in the atmosphere. Give your answer to 3sf.

[2 marks]

A new technology is added to the power station to capture this carbon dioxide and store it as a liquid.

c) The density of liquid carbon dioxide is 1100kg/m³. 

Work out the volume that the amount carbon dioxide produced every day will occupy if stored as a liquid. 

[2 marks]

A depleted oil field contains a reservoir of area 1150 m2 which is 150m deep. This reservoir could be used to store the liquid carbon dioxide.

d) Evaluate how many years’ worth of carbon dioxide emitted from the power station could be stored in this oil field. Give your answer to two significant figures. 

[3 marks]