The Chemistry of Energy - Case study


This resource is a group case study which guides students through some of the key chemical aspects of power generation, the distribution of energy and the relationship between science and policy. It's a contextualised introduction to the application of several key chemical concepts such as thermodynamics to real world situations. 


This resource has been provided by, or developed in partnership with, The National HE STEM Programme.


This resource has been designed to be used with small groups of students (ideally of 4-6 members) studying chemistry, interdisciplinary science, natural sciences or sustainability at year one or year two level. The scenario places the groups in the roles of scientific advisory teams to the government of ‘Northland’ (a ‘fictionalised’ nation located in North West Europe with a population of 5 million and a wide-based installed power capacity – including fossil fuels, nuclear, hydro and wind).

The assessment of this problem is varied. Students must work on a number of different types of submission, each of which targets different audiences including politicians other professional scientists, news agencies and members of the general public. The problem is divided into three units which tackle the following themes:

  • Power Generation
  • Energy Conservation
  • Environmental Impact & Societal Issues


This resource and its components are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.