Welcome to Lesson 2!
You are already to Lesson 2: Energy Supply and Demand. These energy supply and demand lessons will explore more about energy resources. Basically, you will be able to appreciate global and national consumption patterns. We will go over what kinds of energy we have been consuming, how much we have been consuming, and how we compare with the rest of the world, etc., over the past few decades. Based on those patterns, we can also deduce some information about how much energy we use to do a job; energy intensity. What kind of energy sources we will be needing, and how much we will be needing based on the past trends?
We will also look at energy reserves. Do we have those? Will we need more renewables, batteries, coal, more oil, or more gas? Can we (sustainably) use any of those resources? If we can, great, if not, what do we do? We will be doing those kinds of energy analysis. So, obviously, you are going to see a lot of numbers and statistics. One of the questions that I always get is: Hey, do I have to remember all these numbers? In 2019, petroleum and natural gas accounted for 69 % of energy consumption in this country, and renewables accounted for 11% of the electricity generated by utility companies.
Do we have to remember these numbers? My advice is, you don’t have to remember everything but you need to get the main message behind these numbers. In other words, you have to know the fact that petroleum and natural gas are the main energy sources. Similarly, over 75% of our oil products or petroleum products are used for transportation. So, we need to know that transportation is basically run by petroleum; petroleum is mostly used for transportation. That is the message. You don’t need to remember the exact numbers. But if there is something that has very insignificant or significant quantities, you should note that. For example, renewable energy sources supply about 10% of our energy source (although the exact number is about 11%). That is the message. You don’t need to worry about whether it is 9.2 or 9.5 or 8.5 or 11.2%. So just to give you a clue, you don’t have to worry about the exact numbers, but the message that is conveyed using these numbers is what you have to concentrate on. And we will also have one numerical type of problem in this lesson. That problem will be predicting the energy needed for the future. The problem follows an exponential function, and we will talk about that, and there will be a few numerical problems for you to practice.
See the Calendar tab in Canvas for due dates/times.
If you have any questions, please post them to the General Course Questions forum in located in the Discussions tab in Canvas. I will check that discussion forum daily to respond. While you are visiting the discussion board, feel free to post your own responses to questions posted by others - this way, you might help a classmate!