IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 5|2. Energy. Natural resources


1. COLLOCATION. The words in box A all collocate with power. Match each kind of power with the pictures (1-5).


nuclear wave wind solar hydroelectric


solar power


hydroelectric power


wave power


wind power


nuclear power

2. Now combine the words in box A with as many words as possible from box B.


power station

3. Listen to a conversation between two students. Which types of power do they think are a good idea?

Anne: Hi Pete, have you read this article about the solar farm they’re planning to build?

Pete: No, where’s that?

Anne: It says they’re planning to build large-scale solar farms in Africa.

Pete: Oh. That sounds like a good idea. The only problem with alternative energy sources is that they don’t seem co be able co produce enough to meet all our energy needs. I mean, hydroelectric dams have been around for a long time now but they only produce 19% of the world’s energy.

Anne: Well, I suppose it all helps, and this plant will supposedly provide up to 15% of Europe’s energy needs by 2050.

Pete: Europe? How will they get the electricity there? Anne: They’re going to use undersea cables to carry it there.

Pete: Well, that’s a good idea, I suppose. I mean, one of the main criticisms of things like wind farms is how visible the wind turbines are.

Anne: Yeah, I know. People often complain about the noise they make, too, but that isn’t an issue with solar power.

Pete: No, but that reminds me. I saw a documentary at the weekend about renewable energy in Scotland.

Anne: Really? Not exactly the perfect spot for a solar farm.

Pete: No, not solar energy, wave energy. They reckon coastal waters could provide up to ten times Scotland’s annual electricity usage.

Anne: Wow, that would make them self-sufficient. It’s certainly an interesting proposal, and if they generate that much electricity, it would be a remarkable achievement. And it should appeal to the public more than having a nuclear power plant on their doorstep.

4. Now listen again and note the phrases in 1 and 2 that you hear.


1. The following verbs can all be used with energy. Match the verbs with the verbs with a similar meaning.

2. Complete the sentences with a suitable verb from 1:

3. Complete each definition of an animal with a word from the box.

mammals hybrids organisms reptiles
invertebrates marsupials primates amphibians

Natural resources

Error warning!

We usually use resources in the plural, not the singular. Source is used to refer to the place something comes from:

Oil, gas and coal are natural resources used to produce energy. NOT natural resource / sources.

Books should still be seen as a good source of information. NOT a good resource of information.

1. Choose the correct alternative to complete the sentences.

2. Choose the answer that best fits each space.

The natural world

1. Listen to a talk about the history of mining in Australia and match the dates with the events.


Mining in Australia probably started with the arrival of Aborigines around 40,000 years ago. Aborigines mined for ochre, a naturally occurring coloured clay which they used for decoration.

‘Modern’ Australian mining followed the arrival of European settlers in 1788. At first, this mining was limited to the quarrying and shaping of local sandstone, which they used for the first buildings at Sydney Cove.

Coal wasn’t found until 1791, when some convicts managed to escape and got as far as Newcastle. The coal industry began in 1798, when ship owners gathered surface coal at Newcastle and brought it to Sydney for sale. Export of Newcastle coal began in the following year with a shipment to India.

Lead was the first metal mined in Australia, on the outskirts of Adelaide in 1841. Lead is one of the oldest metals known to humans. Its relatively simple to extract and it’s extremely malleable, so it’s easy to shape or flatten into sheets. Lead is usually found in ore, which is the name given to rock that we can extract metal from. It’s extracted by a process known as smelting, where the rock, or ore, is heated to extremely high temperatures. Of course, precious metals and precious stones are the natural resources that most people go in search of in the hope of striking it rich. In 1849, many Australians migrated to the United States during the gold rush. In a bid to stop this, the New South Wales Government decided to offer incentives for Australians to find gold in their own country.

But it is opals rather than gold or diamonds that Australia became famous for. The largest site was discovered in 1915 by a 14-year-old boy. I le was with a group of gold diggers. The boy had been sent to look for water when he made the discovery of what was to become the world’s largest and most productive opal field at Coober Pedy.

2. Now listen again and match the words with the definitions. Look at recording script to check your answers, and use a dictionary to help you.



You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

  • Alternative energy sources that use the natural power of the wind, waves and sun are too expensive and complicated to replace the coal, oil and gas that we use to power our cities and transport.
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Plan your answer:

Agree ____________

Disagree ____________



biofuel [ˌbaɪəu’fjuːəl]

carbon footprint [,ka:bən ‘futprint]

consumption [kən’sʌm(p)ʃ(ə)n] 

emissions [ɪ’mɪʃ(ə)n]

fumes [fjuːmz]

greenhouse gas [’gri:nhaus ,ɡæs]

mining [ˈmʌɪnɪŋ]

natural resources [ˈnætʃrəl , rɪˈzɔːsɪz]

precious metal [ˈprɛʃəs , ˈmetəl]

scale [skeɪl]

wind farm [wɪnd , fɑːm]


carbon neutral [ˈkɑːb(ə)n , ˈnjuːtr(ə)l]

eco-friendly [‘eko ‘frɛn(d)li]

rechargeable [riːˈtʃɑːdʒəbl̩]

recyclable [riːˈsʌɪkləb]

renewable [rɪˈnjuːəbəl]

precious [ˈprɛʃəs]

sustainable [səˈsteɪnəb(ə)l]

unleaded [‘ʌn, ˈlɛdɪd]


capture [ˈkaptʃə]

conserve [kənˈsəːv]

curb [kɜːb]

discard [dɪsˈkɑːd]

emit [ɪˈmɪt]

exhaust [ɪɡˈzɔːst]

harness [ˈhɑːnəs]

1. Replace the phrases in italics with a more academic phrase from the box.

is indigenous to is nocturnal is carnivorous is asexual is dominant
is feral is submissive  is tame is invasive is venomous


The panda is a member of the bear family and originally came from China. ____is indigenous to____

2. Complete the text by writing a word from the box in each space.

3. Complete each sentence with a form of the word in CAPITALS. Use a gerund or a noun ending in -ion or -ance. A prefix may also be needed.

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