There is a growing apprehension about the looming energy crisis. Every government in the world is looking for ways to lessen dependence on fossil fuel and has shifted focus to alternative energy sources. Concerned groups and individuals have joined global efforts in increasing public awareness about the need to conserve energy and preserve natural resources.
So what has led to this energy crisis? There is no one answer because the cause is a series of misuse and abuse of the Earth’s resources. And the problem does not stop with the lack of energy. Rather, it permeates all aspects of planetary life.
To meet the growing needs of the ever-increasing population, plants and industries had to be built. However, modernization of industries demand exceedingly large amounts of energy while the Earth’s traditional sources of energy, coal and oil, are dwindling. Compounding the situation is the non-stop emission of toxic gases by factories and even by man himself in his ordinary daily activities. Those gases pollute the air and contribute to global warming, making the planet unsafe for man to live in.
Actually, energy crisis is just a component of the global problem of a sick and perhaps dying planet. Nonetheless, the solutions to the energy crisis, specifically the use of renewable energy sources, can check the further degradation of the planet which, coupled with the efforts to restore many of the natural resources that will hopefully nurse the planet back to health, can give us all a brighter future.
Here are some ways the use of alternative energy sources can avert energy crisis and help in the wellness efforts for Mother Earth:
1. Less dependence on oil and coal. Present supply from renewable energy sources contribute about 18% of global energy consumption. What many independent groups are proposing is 100% supply of energy coming from alternative sources, meaning fossil fuels and nuclear power will not be used. And this is very much possible considering the long-term potentials of the renewable energy from sunlight, wind, water, tides, and geothermal heat. Some scientists are already proving that their respective countries can soon power themselves completely by renewable energy.
2. Minimal to zero emission of toxic gases. A major benefit to using alternative energy sources is the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and many other pollutants. Solar energy panels and wind turbines do not have any emissions. This not only provides clean air for humans to breathe but also stops any additional contributory load to global warming.
3. Minimal production of waste products. The technologies used in harnessing renewable energy create very little waste materials. In fact, there is even a renewable energy source, biomass, which makes use of waste products in generating power. This is a two-faced solution that responds to the problems of energy supply and waste disposal.
4. Preservation of natural resources. Less dependence on fossil fuels also means there would be less need to strip-mine wide areas for coal and oil sands. There will no longer be oil spills that pollute the seas and kill birds and marine life.
As viable as alternative energy sources are, it would still take some time before the world can be weaned from dependence on fossil fuels. For the time being, while the infrastructures for renewable energy sources are being built, the most that we can do to help forestall the energy crisis is to reduce the total requirements for energy.