My OpenLearn Profile
- Personalise your OpenLearn profile
- Save your favourite content
- Get recognition for your learning
An introduction to energy resources
Energy resources are essential for any society, be it one dependent on subsistence farming or an industrialised country. There are many different sources of energy, some well-known such as coal or petroleum, others less so, such as tides or the heat inside the Earth. Is nuclear power a salvation or a nightmare? This free course, An introduction to energy resources, provides background information to each, so that you can assess them for yourself.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- understand the difference between energy and power, and their units and prefixes
- state the relative contributions of different natural energy sources to the global energy budget
- describe the contribution of photosynthesis to the carbon cycle, and distinguish the terrestrial and marine parts of the cycle
- discuss the issues involved in concentrating, storing and transporting energy
- recognise which energy resources have a low energy density, and which have a high energy density.
You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.
- An introduction to energy resources
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Energy use
- 2 Energy, work, power and efficiency
- 3 Sources of energy from the natural environment
- 4 Fossil fuels
- 5 Nuclear energy
- 6 Concentrating, storing and transporting energy
- 7 Renewable and non-renewable energy supplies
- 9 Glossary
- Keep on learning
Create an account to get more
Track your progress
Review and track your learning through your OpenLearn Profile.
Statement of participation
On completetion of a course you will earn a Statement of participation.
Access all course activities
Take course quizzes and access all learning.
Review the course
When you have finished a course leave a review and tell others what you think.
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 and our FAQs.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.Have a question?
Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.
Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.
About this free course
8 hours study
Level 2: Intermediate
Become an OU student
Download this course
Free statement of participation on completion of these courses.