AQA GCSE Physics

Revision Notes

1.2.1 Energy Resources

Energy Resources

  • Energy resources are large stores of energy that can be transferred from one form into electrical energy that can be used by society
  • Generating energy reliably requires the use of a range of different energy resources, as listed in the table below:

Energy Resources Table

Energy Resource Table 1, downloadable IGCSE & GCSE Physics revision notesEnergy Resource Table 2, downloadable IGCSE & GCSE Physics revision notes

Renewable Energy Resources

  • A renewable energy resource is defined as

An energy source that is replenished at a faster rate than the rate at which it is being used

  • As a result of this, renewable energy resources cannot run out
  • Renewable resources include:
    • Solar energy
    • Wind
    • Bio-fuel
    • Hydroelectricity
    • Geothermal
    • Tidal

Uses of Energy Resources

  • The three main uses of energy resources include:
    • Transport
    • Electricity generation
    • Heating

Types of energy resources


  • The majority of vehicles in the world are powered by petroleum products such as petrol, diesel and kerosene
    • These resources all originate from crude oil, which is a fossil fuel
  • A growing number of vehicles are now being powered by electricity
    • The advantage of this is that while the vehicle is being driven, it produces zero carbon emissions
    • The disadvantage is that when the vehicle is being charged, it is connected to the National Grid, which currently uses a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy sources
  • Vehicles can also be powered by biofuel
    • The advantage of biofuel is that it is a renewable resource
    • However, the claim that biofuels are carbon-neutral is largely controversial

Electricity Generation

  • Electricity plays a bigger role in people’s lives than ever before
  • With almost 8 billion people in the world, this means the demand for electricity is extremely high
  • To keep up with this demand, a combination of all the energy resources available is needed
  • On the downside, the majority (84%) of the world’s energy is still produced by non-renewable, carbon-emitting sources
    • This has an enormous negative impact on the environment
    • Currently, scientists are working hard to develop more and more efficient ways to produce electricity using more carbon-neutral energy resources

World Energy Consumption 2019, downloadable IGCSE & GCSE Physics revision notes

Pie chart of global energy consumption


  • Most homes in cold countries are fitted with central heating systems
  • These utilise natural gas in order to heat up water which can be pumped around radiators throughout the home
    • Unfortunately, gas is a non-renewable energy resource
  • In geologically active countries, such as Iceland, they are fortunate to be able to heat their homes using geothermal energy

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Katie has always been passionate about the sciences, and completed a degree in Astrophysics at Sheffield University. She decided that she wanted to inspire other young people, so moved to Bristol to complete a PGCE in Secondary Science. She particularly loves creating fun and absorbing materials to help students achieve their exam potential.

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