World Energy Prospects 2050 Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Ultra Long-Term Perspectives World Energy

Energy is a very important part of our lives and the world that we live in today. It has always been important since the time that the humans used to do all their work by themselves to the times when they started using animals and even today when we make use of the energy sources around us to produce energy such as electricity.

Today our main source of energy are the fossils fuels that won't last forever as, they take millions of years to form and very little time to get used as a source of energy. One of the very important concerns of today's time is the speed with which we are consuming these fossil fuels and how it will be very difficult for us to keep up with the increased demand which is expected to double by 2050 as the population is expected to reach 9.5 billion. It is estimated that approximately half more of the energy that we are consuming today will be needed by us in 2050 (Jess, 2010).

Due to all these raised concerns regarding the future supply and demand of energy a lot of research is now being done on the ways to ensure a sustainable future. Today researches are being done on sustainable energy, electric cars, nuclear power generation and smart glids etc. Efforts are being made to make the government come up with policies that would ensure the implementation of energy manufacturing ways which are healthier for our atmosphere and environment (Jess, 2010).

Implementing the gas revolution can prove to be very difficult as, gas and oil prices are very strong factors of our global economies and have a lot of values and meaning for politicians and their careers. Therefore, implementing the gas or oil revolution can prove to be somewhat of a problem (Jess, 2010).

If the predictions regarding the increase in demand of energy by 2010 any indicators it can clearly be seen that there exists a very strong need for us to come up with renewable energy sources in order to prepare for survival in the coming times. In this paper we have discussed many different ways through which renewable energy sources can be made use of (Jess, 2010).

1.1 Comparison and Contrast

Let's try and have a look at the analogy that this article is based on.

Let us start by going back some thousands of years when we humans were still evolving specie and we begin to think about what we eat and how to find our food. In the search of this food we started to hunt and gather food however, the step that proved to be a significant turning point in our species' evolution is when we actually learned the art of agriculture. This was a very important step as it led to us becoming specie that could produce and manufacture its own food rather than hunt it as we initially used to do. Agriculture allowed the humans to get settled in a single place where there was fertile land that they could grow their food on.

Let's apply this same phenomenon mentioned above to energy. We have been more or less making use of the energy from the natural resources that we find in our environment such as from fossil fuels etc. This is being done by us for the past 250 years. Therefore, if it is said that not much is being done by us to manufacture the energy it will be correct as, for so many years we have only been making use of the natural resources to produce energy rather than trying to manufacture it. Manufacturing energy isn't a completely new idea as it is being done by us to a little extent for many years. We manufacture or convert one form of energy into another to make the electricity which we make use of everyday. This energy can be converted in a number of ways such as by spinning the wheel, taking a magnet and spinning is inside a coil wire so that it could free up a few electrons in order for us to have a generator. When it comes to spinning the wheel in order to generate electricity, the process is almost the same. Coal is burned to boil the water which is transformed into steam which in turn spins the wheel which ultimately produces electricity or we can swap the coal with nuclear fission power, oil, hydro power or even natural gas and they will all be able to spin the wheel (Weijermars, 2012).

Let's try to figure out the problem with the approach that we are using today in order to produce energy. The main issue is that it is not the 19th century anymore when we had an abundance of these fossil fuels that were cheap at that time and oil wasn't at its peak along with the fact that per capita consumption of energy was considerably lower as compared to how it is today (Weijermars, 2012).

The fact that fossils fuels played a very important role in modernizing the economy of the world especially in the last century can't be denied. But the fact still remains that burning such huge quantities of fossils that were formed over a period of million years is troublesome. Another fact is that by making use of these fossils we are taking the fossils and the carbon dioxide that comes with them from inside the earth and into the atmosphere and environment around us (Weijermars, 2012).

Change in the balance of the atmosphere due to the GHG can be seen in the last few decades and if something isn't done about all this and we continue on burning the fossil fuels, the damage that it will do to the atmosphere and environment will be irreversible (Weijermars, 2012).

As we discussed earlier how humans evolved from gathering and hunting food to manufacturing their own, in the same way we need to come up with conversion technologies which will allow us to make use of the renewable energy sources such as hydro, wind, tidal, geothermal and biomass in order to manufacture energy. In this paper we will be focusing on the energy mix that we need in order to manufacture sufficient amount of energy that will help us in getting rid of our dependence on the fossil fuels to generate energy or will at least reduce this dependence (Weijermars, 2012).

The question that arises here is that is it possible for the renewable energy sources to produce sufficient amount of energy to full fill all our needs in today's world? The answer to this question is yes, the renewable energy sources can fulfill our needs to a 100% (Weijermars, 2012).

2. Sources of Sustainable Renewable Energy

There are many renewable energy sources that have been provided to us by nature. Amongst all these sources Sun is the most powerful source, it also acts as a driving force for many other renewable and non-renewable energy sources. Sun is involved in the formation of tidal, wind, biomass, geothermal, solar radiation and even the fossil fuels even if this involvement is very small the formation of all these things is responsible to a certain extent to the Sun (European Renewable Energy Council EREC, 2010).

According European Renewable Energy Council EREC (2010) there are various technologies available on our planet that can be used as renewable energy sources as transportation, electricity, cooling and heating. However, it will be unfair on our part if our focus remains only on one of these renewable energy sources as it has been in the past in case of fossil fuels in which coal and oil have been the most significant sources of energy that on whole economy depends upon. No wonder that the oil prices have such huge impact on our economies since in every part of our life oil and coal plays such an important role (European Renewable Energy Council EREC, 2010).

In today's world the question that we really need to find an answer to is not to find a renewable energy source that would replace oil but to come up with an energy source mix which would help us in making use of the energy sources mentioned in the table in such a manner that they would not only help us in improving our economy and global development but will also prove to be good for the environment rather than damaging it (European Renewable Energy Council EREC, 2010).

2.1 The Capability and Adaptability of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Resources

There is a wide category of energy resources that have been provided to us by Mother Nature such as solar thermal and geo- energy, bio-energy, ocean energy, wind, hydro power, photovoltaic and solar thermal electricity. All of these energy sources are in some way connected to 2 of the major power sources that are earth and sun. Majority of the renewable sources of energy present on earth are directly or indirectly derived…

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