Physics (including Earth and space sciences Energy Sources
1. Refer to the IEA’s “Key World Energy Statistics 2012,” Section 1, Supply, http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/kwes.pdf.(Note: If you have
trouble with a link, copy it and paste it into your browser.) Examine the data on page 6 (label on the page), Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) – The World. Using the
data on this page, prepare a table listing the types of fuel sources. Then, in separate columns, list the percentage of each type’s share in the TPES for each of the
years 1973 and 2010. (Just read the data off the pie charts.) In a third column, calculate and list the percentage change of each of the types from 1973 to 2010. Which
of the TPES has been the most rapidly growing and which the most rapidly decreasing?
2. Refer to the same IEA report, page 8. The 1973 and 2010 Regional Shares of the TPES are given. Construct a table listing the regions and, in separate columns, list
the percentage of each region’s share to the TPES for 1973 and 2010. As in problem 1, list in a third column the percentage change of each region’s contribution from
1973 to 2010. Which region has experienced the most rapid growth in energy supply and which has been the most rapidly declining?
3. Let’s prepare to turn our attention to alternative, renewable energy sources. Refer to the DOE’s link to the EIA’s Energy Explained:
http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=us_energy_homee. You will find graphics showing the use of renewables. Prepare a table listing the renewables
and tabulate the percentage of each renewable source’s share of the total renewable usage.
4. Project Interest – We all know something now about energy sources and usage. We also know that petroleum resources are finite. What aspect of renewable or
sustainable energy would you, personally, be interested in looking into as a possible way to achieve a sustainable future. Write a brief paragraph about your interest
and why you have selected it. Then briefly outline some of the issues or problems that you expect will need to be considered in researching the topic you’re proposing.
(Write not more than 1.5 pages for this part of the assignment. It is only intended to be an expression of interest; not the research paper.)
5. Refer to the Table of Contents for a link to a discussion by David J.C. MacKay which I’ve entitiled “On Numbers and Nonsense.” Read MacKay’s commentary.
6. Video: Refer to the Table of Contents for a link to a video talk by Amory Lovins entitiled: “A 40 Year Plan for Energy.” Lovins gave this talk at a TED Conference
in March, 2012. The talk is based on information in his recent book, “Reinventing Fire.” In it he lays out a program for freeing ourselves from the use of petroleum.
Lovins is Founder, CEO and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a highly regarded environmental and energy research center. Lovins was a 1993 recipient of
the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship Award. Write a brief (2 paragraphs) summary or critique of the ideas presented by Lovins. Do you believe his plan is achievable?