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Author

Lisa LaBracio

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Physics, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Video, 5 minutes, 1 second, CC, Subtitles
  • Assessment
  • Article
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

Global

How Much Electricity Does It Take to Power the World?

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Synopsis
  • This video explains how electricity is generated, how much electricity demand is expected to increase, and how innovations in clean energy technology will revolutionize the energy sector. 
  • Students will learn that switching to electric power is only part of the solution for combatting climate change. The clean energy sector will have to expand to serve the growing global population while eliminating fossil fuel use. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This video offers a comprehensive explanation of the steps needed to power the world with electricity while also combating climate change. 
  • The animations and visuals make this video appropriate for a wide audience. 
  • The Dig Deeper tab includes additional resources and links, including a carbon footprint calculator, and a website that provides actionable steps people can take to reduce their electricity usage.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students must enter their names to take the quiz in the Think section. This is only allowed for students who are 13 years of age or older. 

Differentiation

  • Social studies or geography classes could discuss the growing need for power around the world. Students could reflect on the fact that more than one billion people do not have reliable electricity access and think of ways that the global population can work together to ensure clean electricity for all people.
  • Economics classes could discuss the economic opportunities in the renewable energy sector as well as the potential for government subsidies and grants.
  • Physics classes could discuss the difference between nuclear fusion and nuclear fission.
  • Other related resources include this video about achieving 100% clean energy, this interactive map displaying the share of electricity production from coal, and this podcast about the benefits and challenges of wind and solar power. 
Scientist Notes
Electricity demand is expected to triple by the year 2050. As such, it is important to consider where our electricity is coming from. This TEDEd video examines this. Please note that this video does mention nuclear fusion energy, which is still a conceptual fuel source. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • MS-ETS1-1 Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
      • HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
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