Energy world

Notes on Renewable and non-renewable energy sources

Renewable and non-renewable energy sources  

 Defining the sources

Science

Timing: Half a lesson

Objectives:

  • Distinguish between renewable energy sources and non-renewable energy sources
  • Understand characteristics of a range of energy sources
  • Introduce the idea of sustainability

Assessment:

  • Self-assessment form
  • Student performance during discussion

Delivery:

Individually or in small groups – The students can run through the activity on their own or in small groups if there are enough computers.

As a class – You can use this activity with an interactive whiteboard.

Students can click on the Energy sources for more information or refer to Information cards 1–13.

Check the group's understanding by arranging the icons in the correct places on the whiteboard before moving on.

The correct grouping is:

Renewable Non-renewable
Hydroelectric energy Coal
Wind energy Oil
Solar energy Gas
Biomass Nuclear
Geothermal  
Ground source energy  

 

Your students may spot some anomalies:

Geothermal energy is usually defined as renewable, but it depends on the Earth's internal heat, which will eventually cool down.

Nuclear power is currently non-renewable as it depends on mined uranium. In the future we may be able to use readily available hydrogen as a fuel, making it renewable.

The activity moves to a grid that references the energy sources against a range of statements. Some answers are intentionally ambiguous to allow for a stimulating class discussion.

The correct answers are as follows:

Go to Defining the sources

Go to Energy sources

Download information cards 1–13

 Where can we use it?

Geography

Timing: One lesson

Objective:

  • Assess the suitability of a range of energy sources by matching them against the characteristics of certain regions

Assessment:

  • Self-assessment form
  • Student performance during activity

Delivery:

Individually or in small groups – The students can run through the activity on their own or in small groups if there are enough computers.

As a class – You can use this activity with an interactive whiteboard.

This challenge requires the group to suggest the best mix of renewable energies for four regions of the world.

There are no ‘right’ answers, just sensible suggestions that can be used to start a debate.

The areas would need a blend of resources:

  • Scotland’s landscape is ideal for producing hydroelectric energy, and using wave and tidal power
  • The warm southern Italian climate would be a suitable place to use solar energy
  • Solar and wind energies would be good for Bangladesh
  • Argentina could create hydroelectric energy and use wind, tidal and solar power

Go to Where can we use it?

 Scotland and Italy

Geography

Timing: One lesson, or can be set as homework

Objective:

  • Assess the suitability of a range of energy sources by matching them against the characteristics of certain regions

Assessment:

  • Written report for grading

Delivery:

Individually – This can be done in the classroom or at home.

This activity card is based on the online activity Where can we use it? Students consider the resources and needs of Scotland and Italy and decide which sources will be the best for them using the Energy sources and Information cards 1–13 to help.

Download Activity card 1: Renewable and non-renewable sources: Scotland and Italy

Go to Energy sources

Download information cards 1–13