Revision Notes

1.7.3 Energy Resources

Descriptions & Forms

  • Energy resources are large banks of energy that can be transferred into a form that can be used by society, such as electrical energy
  • The table below gives a brief description of the main energy resources, along with the form of energy contained in that resource

Energy resources table, IGCSE & GCSE Physics revision notes

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • All energy resources have advantages and disadvantages associated with them


Energy-advantages-and-disadvantages-table, IGCSE & GCSE Physics revision notes


  • Some points to note:
    • A renewable energy resource is one 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
    • A reliable energy resource is one that can produce energy at any time
      Non-reliable resources can only produce energy some of the time (e.g. when it’s windy)


Extended Only

The Sun

  • Most of our energy resources on the Earth come from the Sun:
    • The Sun heats up the atmosphere, creating wind and producing waves
    • Water evaporated by the Sun falls as rain, filling up reservoirs
    • Plants grown using sunlight form the basis for fuels – both biofuels and fossil fuels
  • The Sun’s energy is produced by through the process of nuclear fusion in its core
    • Nuclear fusion involves the collision (and bonding) of hydrogen nuclei to form helium nuclei, releasing nuclear energy in the process
  • Some forms of energy, however, do not come from the Sun
    These include:

    • Geothermal – this comes from heat produced in the Earth’s core
    • Nuclear – this comes from elements which make up a small proportion of the Earth’s crust
    • Tidal – this comes (mainly) from the gravitational attraction of the moon


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Jenna studied at Cardiff University before training to become a science teacher at the University of Bath specialising in Biology (although she loves teaching all three sciences at GCSE level!). Teaching is her passion, and with 10 years experience teaching across a wide range of specifications – from GCSE and A Level Biology in the UK to IGCSE and IB Biology internationally – she knows what is required to pass those Biology exams.

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