With Reference to Two Contrasting Examples, Describe and Explain the Differences in Their Energy Mix

With reference to two contrasting examples, describe and explain the differences in their energy mix (25) The energy mix is the different uses of energy that country uses. The UK does not have a balanced energy mix, some sources of energy are oil, gas, nuclear, coal and hydroelectric power. The main sources of energy come from oil and gas this is because there are reserves in the north sea, however production of oil and gas peaked in the 1990s but has since fallen.

Gas production and oil are the main sources of energy. Gas fell from 9400 million cubic feet to 6600 million, it is said that gas imports will rise in the future and new techniques are being used to extract more oil, Miller oil field in Scotland is expected to extract more than ? 40 billion worth of new barrels.

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Nuclear is another source of energy in the UK, and it is predicted to rise in the future as it is a renewable source of energy however due to the disaster in Japan production of nuclear has been affected, it is predicted however that the government will build new plants sometime in the next ten years, as it takes ten years to build a nuclear plant, there is opposition against nuclear production such as the pressure group green peace, but supporters argue that it is the only way to meet energy standards and pollution target levels and without new nuclear plants the use of nuclear will drop to 10. % by 2020. Hydroelectric power is becoming popular, currently though the UK only produces 0. 8% from HEP, mainly Scotland and not many other sites over the uk, however a new plant has been built at loch nes. There are also other forms of energy sources such as geothermal, wind power and other options. The government has set a target of 10% electric renewable sources from 2010. Lots of planning has been involved and many new turbines need to be built this has caused lots of controversy in areas. I believe that wind power will become one of the key energy producers in the future for the UK.

Mali on the other hand is an LDC, one of the poorest countries in the world, located in Northern Africa and is land locked. Energy is a big issue as they have no fossil fuels of there own and therefore have to import through neighboring coastal countries because Mali is landlocked. Oil accounts for 8% of the countries imports and this equals major financial costs. In rural areas 80% of energy is supported by firewood and charcoal, this brings pollution and health dangers, and firewood has to be collected, and this uses over 50 million tones of national reserves every year.

Woodcutting is a rural industry and provides the only source of employment. Mali does have lots of renewable possibilities. In 1990 the government created a new national domestic energy strategy, it stresses on renewable energy gained is important for international financial backing. Mali has very good potential solar resources as on average they have 5-6 sunlight hours a day, some solar panels have been added to 30 schools to provide lighting. In June 2004 a law was passed to protect certain forests species against excessive cutting.

In conclusion Mali and the UK have very different energy mixes, The UK is more developed and has a wider range of energy sources as it is an island and has reserves in the North sea. Mali on the other hand has a very limited choice of energy reserves and relies heavily on imports from other countries as Mali has very little resources due to being landlocked. However Mali has a very good opportunity with the use of solar panels. In the future I think that in the UK wind and solar power will be much more popular and the use of oil and gas will be reduced.

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