Natural Gas flame. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Natural Resources:Energy: Classification of energy sources

  • One way of classification is by grouping energy sourcesĀ into traditional and modern sources.
Wood fuelWater (HEP)
CharcoalNuclear power
Straw/grassGeo-thermal power
Crop residues (stalks)Thermal power from coal, oil and natural gas or wood
Cow dungTidal power
  • Some sources and types belong to both groups.
  • For example canoeing down a river uses the force of the moving water, a very ancient exercise indeed while a hydro-electric power station utilizes water to generate electricity.
  • Another method of classification energy resources is to divide them into two groups, renewable and non-renewable.
  • Renewable energy sources are those which are infinite and replenish or regenerate themselves naturally as long as they are not over exploited.
  • Non-renewable energy resources are exhaustible, getting used up and running out with more exploitation and use.
Sun (solar)Coal
WaterNatural gas
WoodTar sands
Grass/strawsNuclear (uranium, platinum, strontium, iridium)
Crop residues/stalks
Geo-thermal power
Atomic power
  • Energy sources like wood, though renewable, may be exhausted through over-exploitation and overuse.

To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page