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What are the advantages and disadvantages of small scale Energy Production?

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    Hi. I was just revising using the MYGCSE Science Revision Checklist for the P1 exams and this question came up which I don't know the answer to.(and his videos don't have any information on it) So I was wondering if you could tell me the advantages and disadvantages of using small scale production.Thanks
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    What does it mean by small scale production? Does it mean household electricity generation like personal solar panels or biomass boilers etc?
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    (Original post by james1211)
    What does it mean by small scale production? Does it mean household electricity generation like personal solar panels or biomass boilers etc?
    Yes it does. By the way I missed out a word. It is actually "Small scale energy production"
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    By 'small scale' I assume you mean stuff like solar panels, wind turbines, wave generators and so on, as opposed to coal power stations and nuclear power stations.

    Advantages:
    - Generally are cheaper to build - power stations range within the hundred thousands to millions, whereas these can be as cheap as £50.
    - Take up a lot less space - the largest you will ever get will be a wind turbine, but compared to a hydroelectric dam, they take up no space at all.
    - They don't destroy the landscape or ruin habitats as badly - hydroelectric dams can drastically alter the river course and destroy habitats due to building, but small-scale ones can fit in nicely on a house.
    - These generally emit less greenhouse gas emissions - most of the small-scale are renewable.

    Disadvantages
    - Longer payback time - generally the idea of these is that they have a small initial cost but a long payback time. Power stations have a huge initial cost but pay it back very quickly.
    - Generate small amounts of electricity - they generally cannot be solely relied upon unless they are in masses.
    - Can be limited in versatility - such as wind turbines being restricted to windy conditions.
    - Still emit greenhouse gas emissions - despite being otherwise harmless, it still requires energy to create these things and import them. So there's a lot of embodied energy.
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    (Original post by Nick Latham)
    By 'small scale' I assume you mean stuff like solar panels, wind turbines, wave generators and so on, as opposed to coal power stations and nuclear power stations.

    Advantages:
    - Generally are cheaper to build - power stations range within the hundred thousands to millions, whereas these can be as cheap as £50.
    - Take up a lot less space - the largest you will ever get will be a wind turbine, but compared to a hydroelectric dam, they take up no space at all.
    - They don't destroy the landscape or ruin habitats as badly - hydroelectric dams can drastically alter the river course and destroy habitats due to building, but small-scale ones can fit in nicely on a house.
    - These generally emit less greenhouse gas emissions - most of the small-scale are renewable.

    Disadvantages
    - Longer payback time - generally the idea of these is that they have a small initial cost but a long payback time. Power stations have a huge initial cost but pay it back very quickly.
    - Generate small amounts of electricity - they generally cannot be solely relied upon unless they are in masses.
    - Can be limited in versatility - such as wind turbines being restricted to windy conditions.
    - Still emit greenhouse gas emissions - despite being otherwise harmless, it still requires energy to create these things and import them. So there's a lot of embodied energy.
    Thank you. Out of interest did you know all of that off head or did you look up a source?
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    (Original post by Godsboy007)
    Thank you. Out of interest did you know all of that off head or did you look up a source?
    These are off the top of my head, I just thought of them. I am sure there are many more to be researched. But generally these are the three or four things the examiners will expect to be answered in a question. Perhaps excluding the last disadvantage, but all of them are probably valid exam answers.
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    (Original post by Nick Latham)
    These are off the top of my head, I just thought of them. I am sure there are many more to be researched. But generally these are the three or four things the examiners will expect to be answered in a question. Perhaps excluding the last disadvantage, but all of them are probably valid exam answers.
    Are you a GCSE Student?(Just wondering)
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    (Original post by Godsboy007)
    Are you a GCSE Student?(Just wondering)
    Yes I am in Yr 10
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    (Original post by Nick Latham)
    Yes I am in Yr 10
    Are you taking double science?
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    (Original post by Godsboy007)
    Are you taking double science?
    I'm doing triple science for AQA
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    (Original post by Nick Latham)
    I'm doing triple science for AQA
    Well I'm doing double for AQA
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    (Original post by Nick Latham)
    By 'small scale' I assume you mean stuff like solar panels, wind turbines, wave generators and so on, as opposed to coal power stations and nuclear power stations.

    Advantages:
    - Generally are cheaper to build - power stations range within the hundred thousands to millions, whereas these can be as cheap as £50.
    - Take up a lot less space - the largest you will ever get will be a wind turbine, but compared to a hydroelectric dam, they take up no space at all.
    - They don't destroy the landscape or ruin habitats as badly - hydroelectric dams can drastically alter the river course and destroy habitats due to building, but small-scale ones can fit in nicely on a house.
    - These generally emit less greenhouse gas emissions - most of the small-scale are renewable.

    Disadvantages
    - Longer payback time - generally the idea of these is that they have a small initial cost but a long payback time. Power stations have a huge initial cost but pay it back very quickly.
    - Generate small amounts of electricity - they generally cannot be solely relied upon unless they are in masses.
    - Can be limited in versatility - such as wind turbines being restricted to windy conditions.
    - Still emit greenhouse gas emissions - despite being otherwise harmless, it still requires energy to create these things and import them. So there's a lot of embodied energy.
    What do you mean by versatility?Do you mean reliability?
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    (Original post by Godsboy007)
    What do you mean by versatility?Do you mean reliability?
    Kind of, it is more to do with that they are restricted and can't adapt. They are stuck with the conditions they get.
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    (Original post by Godsboy007)
    What do you mean by versatility?Do you mean reliability?
    I would say reliability as you are relying on the conditions e.g. the weather- sunny for solar panels for maximum energy output, windy for wind turbines maximum energy output etc.

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