Interactive Labs

Energy Lab

Lessons > Managing Resources > Step 1

In this lesson, demand for energy is rising 2% per year. The task is to meet the ever-rising demand. Eight energy sources are provided, each with its own limits and issues. To move forward a decade, you first need to meed demand with the Add Energy dialog.

Detail of Energy Simulator Each energy source has a slider on the dialog. A yellow slider knob means an energy source is at its limit. A message at the bottom of the dialog explains the limit. The bottom of the table reports how much more energy is needed before the simulation can move forward.

Before running the simulator, predict which sources will have to increase, decrease, or stay the same in order to:

  1. Supply world energy demand, and
  2. Remain under the 550 ppm CO2 limit through the year 2040.

Record your prediction in the data table, using an up arrow for an increase, a down arrow for a decrease, and a dash for no change. Then click on the Add Energy button and adjust the energy source values until demand is met. Record the percent of each energy source, and click Apply to save your changes.

Click the Run Decade button to reach year 2020. Record the resulting atmospheric CO2. Continue on to 2030 and 2040, trying different source combinations each decade.

Then, answer the following:

  1. How close was your prediction to any of the simulation steps? How did they differ?
  2. Which energy source increased the most and what kinds of effects would increasing this source's use have on both the standard of living and different biomes?