The Open University since 2006
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Exodus: Our Journey To Europe: EPISODE 1Wednesday, 27th July 2016 02:45 - BBC TwoEpisode 1 begins as hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria arrive in the Turkish port of Izmir. Read more: Exodus: Our Journey To Europe: EPISODE 1
Discovery: The Truth About Success And Failure In Medicine: Going Lean: Heath and the Toyota WayAvailable until Tuesday, 25th July 2017 00:00What is lean healthcare? Kevin Fong explores Read more: Discovery: The Truth About Success And Failure In Medicine: Going Lean: Heath and the Toyota Way
Thinking Allowed July 2016: Food bank Britain, Food poverty in EuropeAvailable for over a year
Full Steam Ahead: Episode oneAvailable until Monday, 22nd August 2016 17:30
Exodus: Our Journey To Europe: EPISODE 3Available until Friday, 19th August 2016 01:15
Will Brexit reduce the UK's soft power in EuropeWithout a seat at the EU table, will the UK's ability to shape Europe vanish completely? ... Read more: Will Brexit reduce the UK's soft power in Europe
Full Steam AheadIt’s Full Steam Ahead for historians Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn as they bring... Read more: Full Steam Ahead
Employment relations and employee engagementThis free course, Employment relations and employee engagement, looks at raising levels of... Try: Employment relations and employee engagement now
Managing my moneyThis free course, Managing my money, allows you to gain the skills to manage your personal... Try: Managing my money now
When you consider that the global annual consumption of primary energy increased more than ten-fold during the 20th Century, the importance of planning future energy supply becomes clear. Future energy demand and supply is a free course that offers an introduction to how this is being undertaken.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- summarise the difficulties of forecasting energy demand
- assess the importance of political and economic issues, as well as geological and environmental factors, in determining trends in energy use
- outline some of the contrasting scenarios for energy supply in the twenty-first century, and discuss evolving technologies that could play a part in future energy systems
- appreciate the environmental consequences of society’s current energy use, and the challenges of developing sustainable energy supply.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 The present-day perspective
- 2 Forecasting: energy in the future
- 3 Environmental consequences of fossil fuel combustion
- 4 Prospects and possibilities for the world's energy future
- 5 Managing energy use in the future
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Future energy demand and supply
Human demand for energy has only quite recently exceeded the relatively modest amounts available locally: wind and water power, wood or dung for heat. Since the mid-19th century, expansion in the large-scale exploitation of cheap, plentiful, concentrated energy sources — the fossil fuels — has outstripped global population growth (Figure 1).
When you consider that the global annual consumption of primary energy increased more than ten-fold during the 20th century, the importance of planning future energy supply becomes clear. This final chapter examines how future global energy consumption might develop from its current level, and summarises the main influences on that development, including economic, environmental and technological factors.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 2 study in
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Environmental Science courses or view the range of currently available OU Environmental Science courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 22nd March 2016
Last updated on: Tuesday, 22nd March 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.
All our alternative formats are free for you to download, for more information about the different formats we offer please see our FAQs. The most frequently used are Word (for accessibility), PDF (for print) and ePub and Kindle to download to eReaders*.
- Word (3 MB)
- PDF (5 MB)
- ePub 3.0 (2.6 MB)
- ePub 2.0 (2.6 MB)
- Kindle (1.2 MB)
- RSS (330 KB)
- HTML (2.2 MB)
- SCORM (2.2 MB)
- OUXML Package (47 KB)
- OUXML File (144 KB)
- IMS Common cartridge
*Please note you will need an ePub and Mobi reader for these formats.