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Sosiale wetenskappe: aardrykskunde

Graad 8

Natuurlike hulpbronne

Module 7

Energie en water

Energie en water

Energie

  • In die breë gesien, word energie in Suid-Afrika ondoeltreffend en onvolhoubaar verbruik. Die land se geraamde bydrae van twee persent tot die wêreld se koolstofdioksiedproduksie dra buite verhouding hoog by tot die kweekhuis-effek en mensgemaakte klimaatsveranderinge. Volgens die VN is Suid-Afrika per capita die wêreld se hoogste vrysteller van koolstofdioksied. Die land se algemene energiebeleid moenie gerig wees op die opwekking en verkoop van meer krag nie, omdat dit tot meer besoedeling sal lei. Die aanvraag na elektrisiteit moet eerder beter beheer word om uiteindelik die totale verbruik te verminder.
  • Meer as ‘n driekwart van Suid-Afrika se energie word van steenkool verkry, met die gevolg dat die land se afhanklikheid van hierdie nie-hernubare hulpbron van die hoogste in die wêreld is. Suid-Afrika beskik egter oor enorme steenkoolreserwes van oor die 58 000 miljoen ton. Ongeveer die helfte van die steenkool wat plaaslik ontgin word word gebruik vir kragopwekking. ‘n Kwart word gebruik om vloeibare sintetiese brandstowwe deur middel van die Sasolproses te vervaardig, terwyl die ander kwart direk deur nywerhede of in huise verbrand word om hitte te verskaf.
  • Al die groot steenkool-kragstasies is binne ‘n radius van 150 km van die grootste steenkolmyne in die Oos-Transvaalse Hoëveld geleë. Dit lei tot lugbesoedeling wat volgens sekere wetenskaplikes gelyk is aan die ergste in die wêreld.
  • Lugbesoedeling hou uiters nadelige gevolge vir die omgewing in, veral aangesien ‘n aansienlike deel van Suid-Afrika se vrugbare landbougrond en kommersiële, plantasies, sowel as sowat 25 persent van sy oppervlak-afloopwater, binne hierdie streek val. Direkte steenkoolverbranding deur nywerhede en swart dorpsgebiede wat nie elektrisiteit het nie, veroorsaak ook aansienlike lugbesoedeling, wat op sy beurt weer bydra tot omgewings- en gesondheidsprobleme.

Aktiwiteit 1:

Om konsepte te verklaar wat verband hou met energie

[lu 1.1]

1. Identifiseer die drie natuurlike hulpbronne wat volgens die teks nie-volhoubaar gebruik word en omskryf hul betekenisse:

2. Hoekom is dit so dat die helfte van die bevolking van SA van brandhout as ‘n energiebron afhanklik is?

3. Verduidelik die volgende:

  • Sintetiese brandstof
  • Kweekhuiseffek
  • Volhoubaarheid
  • Mensgemaakte klimaatsveranderinge

‘n Groot omgewingsprobleem is die feit dat nagenoeg die helfte van Suid-Afrika se bevolking tans aangewese is op die nie-volhoubare verbruik van brandhout as energiebron. As die huidige verbruik voortduur, kan alle natuurlike bosse in die voormalige tuislande teen die jaar 2020 gestroop wees.

Hoewel kernkrag as ‘n potensiële kragbron steun geniet, is elektrisiteit wat by die Koeberg-kragsentrale opgewek word duurder as dié in die nasionale netwerk.

Daar is ook nog groot, onopgeloste omgewingsprobleme wat betref die berging van gevaarlike kernafval.

Aktiwiteit 2:

Om maniere te vind om hulpbronverbruik te verminder

[lu 3.3]

1. Bespreek die volgende stelling:

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Source:  OpenStax, Aardrykskunde graad 8. OpenStax CNX. Sep 11, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11035/1.1
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