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Energy production and consumption - which risks are worth which rewards?

Earth by Night: Energy Consumption around Rhine, Ruhr, Meuse and Scheldt

This module teaches about energy production and consumption in the neighbouring regions of Belgium and North Rhine-Westphalia. Current risks of the lignite mining in NRW are compared with the potential risks of nuclear energy in Belgium using animated maps. A video of the area, taken from the ISS by night, visualises the differences in energy consumption and urban structures.

The corresponding app is integrated into the learning app of the Columbus Eye project:

Columbus Eye app on the Google Play Store (part "Earth by Night") (free of charge)

Tip: The same areas are compared regarding light pollution in the work sheet "Earth by Night - Light pollution in Central Europe" on the Columbus Eye website.

11 12 13
Time required
2-3 hours
4: advanced
Recommended Prior Knowledge



Claudia Lindner


brown coal
climate change
earth by night
economic sectors
energy consumption


The students are to...
• recognise differences in urban structural development based on natural physiogeographic characteristics,
• recognise the impact of spatial distribution of fossil fuels on local economies,
• recognise and evaluate dangers of energy generation and energy use and to find alternatives.