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Home > Schools Resources > Energy and Society
Energy Research Unit

Schools Resources: Energy and Society

 
  • All societies are heavily dependent on energy.
  • Humans transform energy found in their environment into a flow of useful energy used to sustain their social and economic needs.
  • This conversion can be obtained in two ways.
    • First, by transforming food energy into muscular power within the human body.
    • Second, by transforming energy outside the human body, such as burning gasoline in a tractor or harnessing an ox to a plough.
  • In order to survive, society must have access to adequate energy for its needs.
  • This energy is produced in many ways but today mainly results from the burning of fossil fuels: oil, coal and gas.
  • Using fossil fuels creates pollution, such as oxides of sulphur and nitrogen which contribute to acid rain, and carbon dioxide which contributes to global climate change.
  • If left unchecked, global climate change will lead to loss of agricultural land, extinction of species and loss of human life through famine, war and flooding.
  • By the rational use of energy, energy saving, energy efficiency and the use of renewable sources of energy we can mitigate the effects of global warming and make economic growth sustainable.
  • ERU are involved in research to assess the potential effects of global warming and to assess urban energy management strategies.
Society depends on energy
 
 
 
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Sustainable Cities

 

 
Energy Research Unit at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory www.eru.rl.ac.uk
Energy Research Unit
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Science & Technology Facilities Council