004 - Energy

Geographic knowledge and understanding

An overview of global patterns and trends in the availability and consumption of:

energy, including the relative and changing importance of hydrocarbons, nuclear power, renewables, new sources of modern energy.

Key Concepts

As a place experiences processes of development its desired sources of energy changes due to the amount and stability required. There is a huge amount of geopolitical power involved in controlling energy. Being energy poor makes a country vulnerable. There are many possibilities associated with the changing availability of energy (as reserves dwindle), due to technological innovation in the production, transfer and storage of energy as well as the increasing demand for sources that involve less carbon release.

Key Terminology

Define the key terms above using your 'Geography for the IB Diploma Study and Revision Guide' by Simon Oakes and the useful links below.

Useful Links

Activity One - Describe

As you are getting very used to doing we need to describe our energy consumption before we can begin to explain why the changes have happened and begin to explore practical plans for the future.

Useful Resources

Activity Two - Specifics and Explanation


We are currently hugely dependent on hydrocarbons for our energy sources but what has led to this?

Taken From: https://ourworldindata.org/energy-production-and-changing-energy-sources/

Nuclear Power

As you have just done for the fossil fuels you will need to describe the changes in the use of nuclear energy and then suggest reasons for the change. Think about the natural disasters which may have also had an impact on nuclear energy use.


The final area to focus on is to look at the changes in the use of renewable energy. Again describe the global changes and then suggest reasons for the changes.

Activity Three - Sustainable Development Goals - New Sources of 'Modern' Energy

Now that you know the changes in energy use and why the changes have been happening it is important to link it to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For energy this is Goal 7.

Exam Style Questions

Describe the changing importance of oil as an energy source. [2]

Explain two reasons for the relative (compare) and changing importance of one of the energy. [2+2]