Essay about Energy Needed

4263 Words 18 Pages
Energy Needed

As the world population soars, we as a global community are met with a need to fulfill the energy requirements of this increasing population. Probably no one is in complete agreement on how to accomplish this. The World Energy Conference has concluded that energy needs in 3 decades will be 75% higher than today. The popular concern over fuel consumption that was so prevalent following the 1970 oil crunches has gone by the wayside. This concern has recently been revived, but the action is still left to "other" people. One area of concern is the environmental impact of our consumption of fossil fuels. The use of these fuels are often blamed for global warming, however the reasons are still under much debate.

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What are neglected are the effects of a tremendously increased population and the effects of unsustainable energy trends both economically and environmentally.

Proponents of the status quo make an incorrect assumption that rapid technological improvements will not be made in the area of energy technologies. Actually vast improvements have been made over the past few years in the area of developing efficient energy technologies for example. There are items like light bulbs and refrigerators that are at least 75% more efficient than the current standard. The power plants of the early 90's are 50% more efficient than a decade ago (Flavin and Lenssen pg. 21).

With natural gas becoming so prominent, a trend toward cleaner, more versatile fuels seems evident. As natural gas is developed, it would allow fazing out of oil and coal and lead to the development of "more efficient and decentralized energy conversion and storage systems" (Flavin and Lenssen pg. 22). This last development makes the transition to renewable fuels more feasible.

The energies that we are primarily using now are not an unlimited resource, we will eventually need alternatives. Renewable or "alternative" energies have become economically viable in light of recent developments. The most abundant of these energies are solar and wind, but there are many other renewable resources. Costs are also declining, and these renewables should be fully competitive very soon.

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