GCSE Physics Revision: Comparison of Energy Resources

5th April 2017

GCSE Physics Revision

GCSE Energy Resources - learning the key facts!


Energy is key. It powers the world in which we live and provides us with the everyday resource that we need to keep our laptops running and our phones fully charged.

In the modern and digital world in which we live, the demand for energy is forever on the increase and we are rapidly running out of the non-renewable resources of coal, oil and natural gas, that we have relied on for many, many years.


The reliance on these fossil fuels has sprung from their availability, their quick start up times and their reliability. They provide constant power, it’s known as the base-load, and means that power can always be supplied. Gas-fired power stations have the shortest start-up times, oil-fired next and coal-fired next in line. Nuclear stations are the slowest to start up. Oil and gas fired power stations are usually used at peak times and coal and nuclear stay lit at all times.


The fuel for nuclear power stations is relatively cheap, but the problem lies in the disposal of the nuclear waste which is very costly because it is radioactivity and remains so for millions of years afterwards. It is also very expensive to dismantle nuclear power stations.


Renewable resources such as hydroelectric and solar energy are the cheapest to use, however the systems which we need to construct to generate the energy from those resources can be very expensive. The amount of energy they are able to produce can also be very unreliable.

Be sure to check out our songs on fossil fuels and radioactive energy here. But first of all, take a look at our GCSE song on the differences between renewable and non-renewable energy resources.


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