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SUSTAINABLE ENERGY: NEED OF THE HOUR

Sustainable energy can be taken as the stipulation of energy that meets the need of present generation without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their needs. Sustainable energy encompasses all natural sources i.e. tidal power, wind, wave, Geothermal, hydroelectricity, solar power. The world’s becoming a place where pollution is present in excess as compared to essential renewable sources; we need to devise certain technologies for preserving the earth. Green energy can be another name for our renewable energy resources; the energy that is being harnessed from nature and is pollution-free, abundant and reasonable. In today’s era, where population is increasing widely and resources becoming limited, these inexhaustible resources become are only chance of survival. So, sustainable-energy is considered as the finest solution for the future. However various concerns are present in making sustainable energy but the positive future effects simply outweigh them.
We rise up a critical query; “With such limited natural resources, do we even think that sustainable energy will be enough to fabricate much energy to fulfil our all demanding needs?” The answer may not be positive as the demand graph will be high then the supply graph but with thought provoking ideas and efficient technologies one can easily harness enough energy to fulfil human needs as the energy derived from natural processes will be replenished constantly and no long-standing effects are done to the environment or ecosystem. Considerable efforts or progress is required in energy shift from non-renewable sources to economical sustainable approach.
At present fossil fuels is the only hope of various companies or people as it is easily available and is cheap. Coal burning, oil production, use of natural gas are the relying sources for our energy requirements, from heating facility to electricity we all depend on fossil fuels. But we, the ignorant souls can never estimate the long lasting effects of using fossil fuels on our ecosystem. Apart from the adverse consequences, fossil fuels are not renewable and inadequate in supply and will be depleting now and then. It is pretty hard to tell that for how much duration fossil fuels reserves will last in our environment, but one thing is for sure that they will be depleting soon. Few say that fossil fuel reserves will be depleted approx 50 years from now whereas others may estimate reserve depletion within 100-120 years of time scale.
The fact is that neither one of these projection is very appealing for a global community that is so heavily dependent on fossil fuels to meet their basic daily requirements. If we come to the bottom line we can easily interpret that fossil fuels are going to run out for energy and there will be no choice but to prepare for the new age of energy production as human demands for energy will not decrease but definitely will increase as the days pass. In this case, alternative energy seems the only hope for our survival; it simply means the energy that is produced from sources other than our primary energy supply: fossil fuels. A rough estimate can be done as if only 8% of alternative energy resources fulfill world’s energy need whereas 92% of world’s energy resources come from utilizing non-renewable fossil fuels. A lot of hard work and enthusiasm is required to shift focus from cheap fossil fuels to costly but reliable sustainable energy. ‘Sustainable energy’ the term itself indicates that we can rely on this energy as it wills going to sustain in our environment for a lifetime period.
One of the reason for shifting our focus and attention from fossil fuel to sustainable energy can be the oil crisis that was faced by certain countries. It was the time when people realized that they are out of their natural reserves to fulfill their needs and this lead to the thinking that fossil fuels should be conserved for future generation to avoid any future inconveniences. If new technologies became main-stream then within no time, the new methods of harnessing energy will become cost effective as well.
The fossil fuels not only being depleted at the rate by which they are being consumed by people but side by side they are also polluting the environment to the extent where living become miserable as the only way to obtain fossil fuels is by mining process where ecosystems get destroyed, if there was a way that fossil fuels can be mined and used that do not harm environment then everything may have been fine, we might not be needing any alternative ways to get energy to fulfill our basic needs but unfortunately that might not be the case as fossil fuel mining and oil production has caused irreplaceable damage to our environment which cannot be altered obviously but preventive measures can be done to avoid any further havoc. Also burning fossil fuels creates carbon dioxide that is considered as the number one greenhouse gas contributing to global warming. Combustion of these fossil fuels is considered to be the largest contributing factor to the release of GHGs into the atmosphere. The impact of global warming on the environment is widespread and affects many areas.
In the Arctic and Antarctica, fluctuation in temperatures basically warmer temperature is causing the ice to melt which in turn increasing sea level and changing the composition of the surrounding sea water. Rise in sea level slows down various processes ranging from agricultural sector to aquatic life both commercially and recreationally. Air pollution is also caused by using fossil fuels that result in degradation of human health or plant growth. On the other side if we observe, a variety of benefits are associated with the use of sustainable energy as it can reduce the air emissions and adverse land-use impacts. By using alternative energy, indirectly we will be saving or conserving the fossil fuels and reducing our dependence on the depleted resource, hence making the world a better place to live in. But till then to meet the basic needs of people, oil or gas companies needs to continue tapping into the fossil fuel reserves to meet our energy needs.
The sustainable energy may also be known as renewable energy comprising of natural resources that after utilization can be replenished within a specific time scale for its further use. It includes solar energy that is considered as the biggest source of energy and if it is tapped efficiently it can be enough to fulfill the basic needs of the entire world, it is the energy received by earth from the Sun and its solar radiations help producing solar electricity. Then is the geothermal power that is generated using steam produced by heat emanating from the molten core of the earth.
More we have wind energy, under which turbines are constructed to convert kinetic energy into mechanical or electric energy that can be used for power. Wind does not require any fossil fuels so it is considered a renewable source of energy. The advantage of wind turbines is that they are pollution free. Another is tidal energy, a form of hydropower that translates the energy of tides into useful forms of power, mainly electricity. Wave power, a natural resource is the transport of energy via oceanic waves, and capture of that energy to do useful work for fulfilling basic human needs. Likewise hydroelectricity, a form of electricity is produced by water power that requires a construction of dam by which electricity can be generated at a constant rate. Biomass is another natural sustainable resource in which organic materials are used as renewable energy sources as wood, crops, waste to make energy for human use.
This drift from fossil fuel to sustainable energy is only possible when focus is being laid on energy efficiency meaning moving towards energy sustainability that will require changes not only in the way energy is supplied, but in the way it is being used by people, and reducing the amount of energy required to distribute various goods or services that are essential for human needs.
Energy provided should be used in an efficient way because nobody really knows when the natural resources i.e. oil; coal or natural gas will get depleted from the Earth. All of this will depend on how well we manage our energy demands along with how well we can develop and use renewable energy sources. One major issue is population growth as the population increases the world’s energy demands will increase accordingly. It is important not only for sustainable energy to keep up with the increasing population growth, but also begin to replace fossil fuel energy production to meet future energy needs of people as fossil fuels will going to deplete anyways.
The Sustainable energy is evergreen sort of energy producing mechanism that is sufficient for the entire world but the main challenge lies in developing the potential to successfully and efficiently capture, store and use the energy for example: Take solar energy, the vital source of energy is the sun. Its energy is found in almost all things, including fossil fuels. Plants depend on sun to make their own kind food, animals in turn eat the plants and consume the energy, and in the end both become the essential elements for fossil fuels. Without the presence of natural energy source ‘sun’, nothing seems to exist on the earth. If this solar energy gets tapped timely then it will be enough to provide electricity to the entire region of the planet. But making the solar energy available for people on a large scale is much easier said than done. It would be high-priced to make solar energy mainstream for major world consumption in the near future, it would be way too expensive to replace the current energy infrastructure used for fossil fuel energy so this lead to the emergence of storage as a crucial element in the management of energy from renewable or sustainable resources.
A single solution can never ever be able to meet our society’s future energy demands. The storage of sustainable energy is the only option that comes from a family of using diverse energy technologies that share a common thread of harnessing energy from natural resource for fulfilling human demands and they do not deplete our natural resources or destroy our environment. Such technologies might seem costly now but in near future there’s a possibility of making them cost-effective methods for harnessing energy as they will be mainstream systems by then.