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Energy Futures: Is it the beginning of the end for Coal?

by Dan Buzzo on November 18, 2014

Can America and China move away from Coal?

In America, the increased production of gas and oil through shale reserves, means it is using less coal.  In fact the threat of legislation and low gas prices has already led to the construction of many new coal plants being suspended.  

However in China, which is by far the most important country for coal, producing and consuming more than 50 percent of the global annual total - there has been a massive growth in coal consumption.  However a slowdown is expected with many predicting that consumption may actually peak before the end of the decade or even earlier - especially with the prospect of a national cap and increasing concerns over air quality.  

This is just one of the Energy Futures case studies that is covered in our latest DVD on "Debating Energy Futures: Coal, Gas and Nuclear".  It also provides case studies from the US, China, India and the UK. 

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Clean and green or cause for conflict?

Wind Energy is the world's fastest growing renewable energy type and makes a significan contribution to the UK's energy needs.  In fact across a 24 hour period in October it generated more electricity than nuclear, while on the 19th October it broke the 20 percent of total power generation mark.  But although renewable energies can be seen as "clean and green", their development can often be a cause of conflict.  Examine the pros and cons of a variety of renewable energy sources with our title on The Greening of Energy.  Tidal, HEP, Wind, Solar, Biomass and Biogas are all considered.

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How is the geopolitics of Eastern Europe affecting energy security in the EU?

The clash between the west and the Kremlin over Russia's military action in the Ukraine, has led to the worst stand-off between both sides since the cold war. And the threat to energy supplies has accelerated calls for a move away from Russian Energy sources.  Find out what alternatives are being considered with our title on Global Energy Security.  It explores what makes some countries more energy secure than others and what strategies can be pursued to improve security.  With Video case studies that consider the energy security of the EU, as well as China, India, Canada and the US, this resource provides students with a wealth of contrasting examples.  And with new technology opening up previously untapped reserves, it asks what the potential risks and rewards might be.

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To get the latest news, expert opinion and teaching resources on geographical topics like energy security, energy futures and renewable energy join our @PumpkinGeog Twitter feed and Pumpkin Geography Facebook page. 

 

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