Energy is imperative that touches every corner of the economy and can alter people’s lives in numerous ways. We need energy to light our homes, to help us travel and to power our businesses. The resources of fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas have benefited our economy.
Currently, energy systems are facing new challenges. Earlier, energy was supposed to be a domestic issue but today the entire world is concerned over this. Burning of fossil fuels is causing climate change for which we are going to be penalized by the nature. Before it gets late, we need to address the threat of climate change. Globally, gas and oil reserves are dwindling and if we let the climate change happen, it will devastate the economies and ecosystem across the world. Climate change will lead to temperature change, drought, and flood.
Recent climate simulation states that carbon dioxide emissions will need to peak within the next decade and decline by at least 50% to 80% by 2050. This challenge will be greatly complicated by the fact that China, India, and other developing countries are now rapidly developing modern energy systems. Scientists studying climate change say carbon capture from power plants is essential, if the country is to take up the challenge against global warming.
The world is now in the early stages of an ‘energy revolution’ and we want to avoid catastrophic scenario. For that we will need an updated energy infrastructure that can integrate ‘renewable’ energy sources – such as bio energy, wave or tidal, wind, and solar power – that do not add to global warming. Renewable and efficiency technologies will allow developing countries to increase their reliance on indigenous resources and reduce their dependence on expensive and unstable imported fuels.
Resource estimates indicate that renewable energy is more abundant than all of the fossil fuels combined and well before mid-century it will be possible to run most national electricity systems with minimal fossil fuels and only 10% of the carbon emissions they produce today. The development of smart electricity grids, the integration of plug-in electric vehicles, and the addition of limited storage capacity will allow power to be provided without the baseload plants that are the foundation of today’s electricity systems.
Another challenge is the variation in the power supplied by renewable energy sources, wind varies with the weather while tides may be predictable but will only coincide with peak demand for power some of the time. Today, consumers are used to getting power whenever they want and will never be pleased if they can not watch television until the tidal condition becomes favorable. We will also have to think if we can look at things from consumer point of view. Maybe any future network should have a say in how many power-hungry devices we run at once, perhaps switching off your fridge for the short period when the kettle is on?
Every country is contributing heat trapping gases to the atmosphere which is getting collected as a thick blanket, trapping sun’s heat and eventually leading to global warming and climate change. This will affect one and all and will be almost impossible to turn around the consequences. The biggest challenge here lies with the developing nations as talks on emission cuts are underway and developing nations are insisting that reduction should be imposed only on developed countries because they are solely responsible for today’s concern. The fact of the matter is that the world needs energy diversification and efficiency program and every country should take part in this so that we all have a common goal and we can work towards it.