Why does Energy Density Matter?


On the face of it, energy density sounds like a dry, scientific topic – of little interest to business people.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

It is energy density that explains why solar farms and wind farms cover so much more land than their conventionally-fuelled power stations – with the direct impacts that this has on project planning and economics: visual impact, land costs, logistics, permitting and much more. It’s energy density that explains why nuclear power can generate as much energy from a single, tiny fuel pellet as from almost a tonne of coal.

In short, low energy density presents a major challenge in scaling up new energy sources to replace their high energy density conventional alternatives.

This video lesson gives some rough comparisons between different energy sources before highlighting why this matters to business and economics, with particular reference to the land use of some different types of power plant.

Some additional reading suggestions and comments are given below the video.