Interactive Labs

Energy Lab

Tools of the Simulator

Run Controls

Run control buttons

Reset Button
Reverts to the beginning year and settings.
Run Decade
Simulates the progression of energy supply and demand for ten years. When there is not enough energy to meet demand, this button is greyed out. A message appears in the status area saying how much more energy is needed to proceed.

Simulator Parameters

Add Energy dialog

Add Energy | Adjust Energy Sources
The label on this button changes between Add Energy, and Adjust Energy Sources. If Run Decade is greyed out, the label is Add Energy, as a prompt to click here instead.
Opens a dialog box (see above) that allows you to alter any or all of the eight energy sources listed. There are four columns: Source, %, Energy (EJ exajoules) and Adjust. For each source listed, the % column tells you what percentage of the current energy mix is generated from that source. A message at the bottom of the Adjust column says how much more energy is required to meet demand. If a slider knob is yellow, selecting that source row displays a message at the bottom of the dialog explaining a limitation. For further information on any of the energy sources, please see Unit 10.
The slider for each energy source adjusts how much of it to use for the next decade, in exajoules (1018 joules). The ends of the slider represent the maximum and minimum range of energy change for the decade, although a type-in value to the left might be permitted to exceed those limits, depending on other settings. You can always type in a value rather than use the slider. If the slider knob is yellow, you've reached a limit, explained at the bottom of the dialog. The previous decade's value of this energy source is shown by a grey marker on the slider line. Tapping or mousing over that marker gives a tooltip of that previous value.
Live plot updates: If this checkbox is checked, the line plots and pie plot are updated while you adjust energy sources. Performance is very poor on mobile devices, so the default is unchecked.
Apply: This button accepts the new energy mix you've created.
Cancel: This button brings you back to the main simulator screen without altering the energy mix.

Advanced Options dialog

Advanced Options
Opens a dialog box (see above) that allows you to alter the conservation and carbon sequestration rates. This button is available on the Energy Efficiency lesson.
Energy demand change per year: This slider shows the growth rate of energy demand per year. You can also type in a new value next to the slider.
Energy Efficiency change per year: This slider shows energy conservation, which subtracts from demand. You can also type in a new value next to the slider.
Net Energy Demand Change: This reports the per decade net annual growth in demand, the result of the demand growth and efficiency per year provided above, compounded for ten years.
Carbon Capture and Storage: This slider shows how much carbon is recaptured and stored each year (see Unit 13, Chapter 4—CCS) in gigatons (GT). You can also type in a new value next to the slider.
Auto-meet demand: If checked, the simulator will attempt to meet demand by increasing each energy source by the Net Energy Demand Change at the beginning of each decade. Because of the yellow-knob increase limits, this often won't complete the job of supplying energy for the next decade, and you need to do further work by hand in the Add Energy dialog box.
Must meet demand: If checked, you must adjust your energy sources so that the demand is met each year before the Run Decade button is available.
Enforce energy source maximums: If checked, you cannot exceed the yellow-knob warning limits in the Add Energy dialog box.


Energy whole screen with graphs

Energy Sources Pie Plot

This plot shows energy sources as a percentage of total energy production for the current decade. You can mouse over or tap a pie slice for a tooltip reporting its value. Minor energy sources may not appear on the pie, but all percentages are reported in the Add Energy dialog.

World Energy Per Yr (EJ) Graph

This graph shows energy supply and demand in exajoules over the course of the simulation. You can mouse over or tap decade points on the line for a tooltip reporting the value at each point. Lines can be turned on and off by clicking them in the legend box in the upper left of graph.

Atmospheric CO2 (ppm) Graph

This graph shows atmospheric carbon dioxide in parts per million (ppm). It is a reprise of the graph (and model) used in the Carbon Lab. The graph can be manipulated the same way as the World Energy graph.