The world needs more and more energy. The constant increase in population brings with it the constantly growing needs for energy and the mankind is in the ongoing search for energy sources that would be appropriate to cover energy needs. There are times when the demand for energy is temporarily reduced for some reasons such as the global financial crisis and global recession. However, such events are transient, and after them the need for energy again rises. In the long run, demand for energy is increasing all the time.
Currently, the world covers its energy needs mainly from non-renewable sources of energy, mostly fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas. As the name suggests, these energy sources are not renewable, they can not last forever and will disappear within a certain period of time. In addition, fossil fuels are very harmful to the environment due to releasing of large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) or oil spilling at sea. Now, perhaps the most pronounced negative effect of fossil fuel is global warming – probably the greatest challenge that the human race has encountered in its short history.
The vast majority of experts agree that burning fossil fuels is the main cause of global warming due to carbon dioxide which is a greenhouse gas. The greenhouse effect in normal conditions enables people to live on earth because without it the temperature would be much lower, but excessive greenhouse effect could destroy life on Earth. If too much greenhouse gases enters into the atmosphere, greenhouse effect will be strengthened and the temperature will rise. This could trigger a negative series of events. It is believed that this happened on the planet Venus, where the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 96.5%, and due to the greenhouse effect the temperature on the surface is over 460 ° C. Because of these problems, it is reasonable to search for a better solution to energy needs, such as renewable energy sources.
There are many reasons why fossil fuels are still the dominant sources of energy in most countries around the world. One of the main reasons is that these are the traditional sources of energy with a long history, and very strong lobbies are gathered around the fossil resources. Another strong reason for the use of fossil fuels is their starting price – the price of this energy is initially very low so that developing countries often tend to use fossil fuels. In addition to the low cost fossil fuels are so domesticated that any change is extremely difficult. The third major reason for the popularity of fossil fuels is poor technological support for renewable energy. This is certainly one of the main reasons why renewable energy sources are hard to break through. The funds that are directed at renewable energy sources are extremely small compared to the funds allocated for the purchase, transport, refining and distribution of fossil fuels, and without good financial support in today’s world it is impossible to achieve a great result.
Many energy experts believe that fossil fuel prices have to be higher and maybe then renewable energy sources will become economically competitive with oil. Renewable energy has to become an economic rival to fossil fuels. The economic competitiveness of renewable sources is still very far into the future, unless considerable resources suddenly start to interflow into this sector.
The only thing that seriously threatens the sector of fossil fuels and could initiate clean energy sources is climate changes. Scientists throughout the world’s leaders try to prove the harmful effects of the use of non-renewable sources. Although politicians like to talk a lot about clean energy, there are still no major improvements in ejection from the use of fossil fuels. Clean renewable energy is the main argument of the advocates of such energy sources and energy independence is the second most important thing. It is known that the majority of confirmed oil reserves are located in politically unstable parts of the world, and countries should always have an energy alternative. One of the attempts to achieve energy independence is a project of the European Union which is in the Sahara desert. Lots of solar power plants would have a dual role: the generated electricity is transported to the power lines to Europe, in addition to desalination of water, which is a very important resource in desert areas. The project is called Desertec and should last until 2050
There are many countries that provide a good example of exploiting the potential of renewable energy sources. For example, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands with a developed sector of using wind energy, Iceland with geothermal energy, China with hydro, and the United States (particularly Arizona, Florida and California) where there are plenty of solar energy exploitation projects. Accordingly, the technology exists, only it is quite expensive and requires large investments. However, it is expected that all these technologies will advance in terms of efficiency and cost reduction, and will become more attractive and widespread.
Even if the world decides to drastically reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, this does not mean that fossil fuels will no longer be used. This only mean that greater importance will be given to renewable energy to gradually displace fossil fuels, but it is a process that will last a very long time. Of course, during this process there will be strong resistance from the fossil fuel sector because trillions of dollars would go from the oil lobby into the renewable energy sector. Currently, the oil lobbies have money and they decide what will be done in terms of energy projects in the future. They enjoy in current situation because all the time money flows in their course, so they are really in no hurry to change.
Hoping that things will change for the better, we should think about the opportunities that renewable energy sources can provide. They are not only the best way to preserve our planet and environment, which is undoubtedly their main purpose, but we can run our own business, investing in some of the future projects. Think, invest and do something extraordinary for the tomorrow!