Impact the environment by global warming. Nitrous oxide

Impact of fossil
fuels on the environment

Fossil fuels can cause pollution, pollution is when the air,
water or soil are contaminated by the materials that interfere with human
health that can affect the quality of life or it can also affect the natural
functioning of ecosystems. 1

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Methane affects the environment when it leaks in to the air
before it is used it can absorb the suns heat and therefore warming the
atmosphere. It does not linger in the air for long but it is dangerous because
how effectively it can absorb heat and its impact on climate change. 2

Carbon dioxide also affects the environment by global
warming as when fossil fuels are burnt it releases waste gases such as carbon
dioxide and as more carbon dioxide is release it   cause
the planet to become warmer that will affect places such as Arctic and
Antarctic. Cause ice to melt and sea levels to rise. 3

Nitrous oxide emission also affects the environment by
global warming. Nitrous oxide emission can cause depletion of the stratospheric
Ozen layer. It also has a high global warming potential that is about 310 time
that of carbon dioxide. 4

The concept of
biofuels and renewable energy

What the concept of biofuel is it is a type of energy that
is comes from renewable plants and animal materials such as waste. There are
different types of biofuels one of them being ethanol. This is used to replace
fuels that produce greenhouse gas that harm the environment. However, amount of
work to grow biofuels and other factors that go in to the process, makes
biofuels actually produce more carbon dioxide then fossil fuels. 5

Ethanol is an
example, this is an alcohol fuel that are made from sugars that can be found in
sugar cane just to name one. the method used to produce this is ethanol is
fermentation. Ethanol starts as a carbon stored in biomass. Its converted to
ethanol and when burnt as a fuel it emits water and carbon dioxide.

Photosynthesis converts carbon back in to biomass to be used in the next cycle.

Below is an image to show this. 6

6

 

What the concept of renewable energy is an energy resource
that is replaced very quickly by a natural process some example of this would-be
power that is generated from the sun or from wind. These types of fuels are
also used to r replace fuels that produce greenhouse gasses. 7

 

 

 

Using the
example of wind energy this is energy that is generated by the wind turning the
wind turbines to power an eclectic generator. The wind turbines are used to
covert the kinetic energy that’s in the wind to mechanical power that can be
used to pump water for example. It can also be use with a generator to covert
mechanical power to electricity to power homes for example. 8

 

The most
significant types of energy source in the UK

There are 4 significant types of energy source in the UK
this includes fossil fuels, nuclear, renewable energy and imports. First fossil
fuels this is where most of the UK electricity is produced. What happens is we
burn fossil fuels that are mainly nature gas which was 30% in 2015 and coal
22%. A very small amount was also produce from oils (1%). The next energy
source makes 21% of our electricity and is known as nuclear energy that comes
for nuclear reactors. This is where uranium atoms are split up so that it
produces heat. In the UK, the amount of nuclear power stations will decrease
over the next decade as new generation of reactors are being built. In 2015
renewable energy also made up 25% of the electricity used the types of
renewable energies are wind, wave, marine, hydro, biomass and solar. They
predict that in the years to come the 25% will increase as we will depend more
on these renewable energies compared to nuclear.  The last energy source used in the UK comes
from imports. From France, the Netherlands and Ireland this is done through
cables called interconnectors. 9

The changing
trends in UK energy production and consumption

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 A graph to show production of UK energy

From the graph, it shows that coal and gas were the main fuels that
were used form 1997- 2015. The graph also shows that gas in 2015 generating the
largest amount of energy over coal which generated the largest amount in 2012.

The graph also shows that renewable energy is being used more over the years.

The graph also shows the oils and nuclear energy are being used less and less
over the years. 11

 

12 A graph to show consumption of energy.

From the graph,
the sector we use the most electricity has change since 1970 to 2015. You can
see that in the 1970s, industry used most of the electricity generated in the UK
and that transport was used third most. But in recent time we now use more fuel
for transport. This is because the transport has gotten better and as the
population increase we would need more transport also because increase in
population the amount of energy we use at home also spikes up and down.

 

What is meant by
fuel poverty.

Fuel poverty is defined as when a poor house needs to spend
more than 10% of its income on all its fuel uses. Some example of this would be
to heat a home to it adequate standard of warmth. This has change since June
2013, the Department for Energy and Climate Change(DECC) adopted a new
definition. This new definition states that households to be in fuel poverty if
the required fuel cost is above the average and when they pay the bills would
they be left with a residual income below the official poverty line. This can
be shown in the figure bellow. DECC was
closed on the 14 July 2016 and energy issues are covered by a new department
called Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 13

14 fuel poverty under the low
income high cost indicator.

 

The number of household that are in fuel poverty is rising
at the moment this is because the cost of energy continues to increase meaning
more of people’s income will be spend paying these bills. Additionally, due to
many people living in draughty homes where lots of heat escapes, that rely on
heating systems that are old and inefficient the fuel that is needed to heat
the home will increase. When the money can be used to make the home more energy
efficient that will enable a reduce in the bills. 15

The trends that is
shown in the number of households in fuel poverty.

House that have uninsulated walls whether solid or a
cavity have a higher prevalence of fuel poverty. They also have a larger
poverty gaps than their insulated equivalents. Also house that have solid walls
have a higher likelihood of being fuel poor and also has a larger average
poverty gap. The image bellow shows how the grading of the house effects the
likely hood of it being in fuel poverty. As more house that a graded A/B/C have
cavity with insulation than house that are graded F/G. so you are more likely
to be in fuel poverty if you were to live in a F/G house than to a A/B/C house.

16

17

 

What are the
government doing to reduce the number of UK households in fuel poverty?

The government has started to targeted all social sector
homes in England meet the decent homes standard by 2010. So, for the house to
be classified decent, the house must be able to provide a reasonable degree of
thermal comfort. For example, the house having efficient heating and insulation.

This guidance was produced by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and also
states that this is the minimum standard and further improvements should be
made to help minimise the risk of fuel poverty. Another way that the government
is helping to reduce the number of UK households that are in fuel poverty is a
programme called Community Energy. And what this program does is it provides
grants to support the installation and refurbishment of community energy
systems in the UK. This is used to help people that are on low incomes heat
their homes. Since 2002, it is estimated that this programme has helped over
9,800 household that were in fuel poverty. 18

The government has also introduced smart meters, these are
the new gas and electricity meters that offer more than just a reading. These
meters can give you near real time information on energy use that is displayed
in pounds. What this means is that you will have a better idea on how much you
are spending and then allow you to better manage the use of energy in the home.

Also as there is no more estimating the bill you will pay what is displayed on
the meter allowing better budgeting. 19

Reference list

1 UKESSAYS. 2003-20017. Environmental impact of fossil Fuels. online. Available

https://www.ukessays.com/essays/environmental-sciences/environmental-impacts-of-burning-fossil-fuels-environmental-sciences-essay.php

2 EDF. 2017. Methane:
The other important greenhouse gas online. Available

https://www.edf.org/methane-other-important-greenhouse-gas

3 BBC Bitesize. 2014. Changes
in the environment. online Available

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks3/science/environment_earth_universe/changes_in_environment/revision/6/ 

4 Scottish Environment Protection Agency. No date. Nitrous oxide online Available

http://apps.sepa.org.uk/spripa/Pages/SubstanceInformation.aspx?pid=8

5 biofuel. 2010. biofuels
for kids online Available

http://biofuel.org.uk/biofuels-for-kids.html

6 Biofuels Association of Australia. 2016, how is ethanol made?, online Available

http://biofuelsassociation.com.au/biofuels/ethanol/how-is-ethanol-made/

7 ScienceDaily. 2017. Renewable
energy online Available

https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/renewable_energy.htm

8 Wind Energy Development Programmatic EIS, no date, Wind Energy and Wind Power online
Available

http://windeis.anl.gov/guide/basics/

9 Energy UK. 2017. Electricity
generation online Available

http://www.energy-uk.org.uk/energy-industry/electricity-generation.html

10 UK energy in brief 2015. Electricity supplied by fuel type, UK, 1980 to 2015 graph.

online Available https://visual.ons.gov.uk/uk-perspectives-2016-energy-and-emissions-in-the-uk/

11 Office for National statistics. 26 May 2016 UK
perspective 2016: Energy and emissions in
the UK. online. Available

https://visual.ons.gov.uk/uk-perspectives-2016-energy-and-emissions-in-the-uk/

12 Carbon
Brief. No date. Energy use by sector graph.

online Available

Five charts show the historic shifts in UK energy last year

13 Department for Business, Energy & industrial
strategy, “Annual fuel poverty statistics report, 2017 (2015 data).” London 1
Victoria street,2017 online Available

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/639118/Fuel_Poverty_Statistics_Report_2017_revised_August.pdf

14 Department for business, Energy & industrial
Strategy “fuel poverty under the Low income high cost indicator graph.

online. Available

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/639118/Fuel_Poverty_Statistics_Report_2017_revised_August.pdf

15 Turn2us. 2017. What is fuel poverty? online Available

https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Fuel-Poverty/What-is-fuel-poverty

16 Department for business, Energy &
industrial Strategy “Annual fuel poverty statistics report, 2017 (2015 data).”
London 1 Victoria street,2017 online Available

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/639118/Fuel_Poverty_Statistics_Report_2017_revised_August.pdf

17 Department for business, Energy &
industrial Strategy 2015. Proportion of all household with each wall type and
FPEER band. graph. online Available

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/639118/Fuel_Poverty_Statistics_Report_2017_revised_August.pdf

18 Department for environment food and rural affairs.

July 2005 The UK fuel poverty strategy online Available

http://www.bris.ac.uk/poverty/downloads/keyofficialdocuments/Fuel%20poverty%20strategy%202005.pdf

19 Department for Business Energy & industrial
Strategy” household energy” place of publication unknown 24 January 2017
online Available

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/smart-meters-how-they-work#the-new-meters