Why Hot Places Need More Expensive Energy Environmental Sciences
Despite persistently high oil prices, global energy demand will grow by 50 percent over the next two decades with continued heavy reliance on environmentally troublesome fossil fuels, especially coal and oil, the UN predicted. The report forecast the steepest increases in China and other emerging economies where energy demand is expected to be 85 percent greater in 2030 than it is today. One of the biggest challenges of our time is the need for energy. Energy consumption is steadily increasing, global warming is a reality, and oil reserves are diminishing. The lack of energy could cause environmental and economic setbacks. The world needs energy and will need even more of it in the future. With this increase in energy needs the world is facing many challenges. Energy is one of the major factors that is shaping and influencing the life of every nation on Earth. The need for energy is mainly due to the usage of energy in the important areas like Industry, transport and to meet residential energy demand. To support economic growth the world will need enormous amount of energy. The challenge is to meet the rising demand in economically, environmentally and socially responsible ways, that includes dealing with greenhouse gas emissions. The world faces three hard truths in meeting the energy challenge. Firstly, the demand for energy is growing rapidly, since countries like India and China are entering the most energy-intensive phase of economic development. Secondly, the supply of easily accessible oil and natural gas are not likely to meet up with the projected demand after 2015. The world will have to use energy more efficiently and increase the use of other renewable energy resources. Thirdly, as a result of the CO2 emissions from the energy the concerns about climate change has also grown. The global temperature has been rising at a rapid pace in the past decade, due to the increase in the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The concentration of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere has lead to significant changes in temperature. The increase in the global temperature has some adverse effects like the melting of the polar ice caps, desalination of the sea water as well as endangering the marine life. The decade of 2001-2009 was the warmest decade recorded on earth, the global average near-surface atmospheric temperature raised to 0.6 ± 0.2 °C. Thus the world has become "HOT".
The great rate of growth in CO2 emissions is attributed to both population and economic growth. The causes of global warming show strikingly well that our energy policy has been inadequate to put it mildly. For years we have been emitting too much carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere as a result of burning fossil fuels, i.e. coal, gas and oil. In order to regularize and have some control in the amount of CO2 being emitted by nations the United Nations has established a protocol known as "KYOTO protocol". The Kyoto Protocol is an attempt to initiate actions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions of developed countries. Some of the issues addressed in this protocol are emissions trading, joint implementation and clean development mechanism. So to meet up the demands of the world and also to maintain or in fact reduce the carbon emission the world has to move towards the renewable resources. The response by the civilized world to the impending disaster of global warming has been largely to ignore it, hoping it will simply go away. Unfortunately, the problem won't go away, and is increasingly banging at humanity's door, demanding attention. The good news is that humans are finally getting the message and looking at ways to turn around the disastrous trend of burning diminishing fossil fuels, which may fuel the planet now, but cannot be maintained indefinitely.
There are several renewable energy sources that produce greener form of fuel to meet the energy demands of the world. Some of the greener forms of energy are wind energy, solar energy etc. Several newer technologies are being implemented to extract more efficient energy from the environment. A feasibility study regarding the setting up of a coal based as well as a wind based power plant along the coast of Singapore was discussed. From the small viability calculations we found that the cost of producing a greener energy is more than that of the energy produced from a conventional source like coal or petroleum. From the viability study it is found that the capital cost for coal based power plant was more than that of wind power plant. Moreover the wind energy being dependent on the seasonal effects has a lesser availability of energy. On the basis of the maintenance and operating cost the wind based power plant has to spend less, due to absence of fuel cost. When we consider all the costs the payback time for a wind based plant is lesser than coal plant. The calculations show that the final income from the wind based plant was less than the power. The per unit charge of energy for coal based and wind based forms of energy have been priced at 2.80 USD/unit & 6.50 USD/ unit respectively. So the government has to pay more for the energy from a greener source like the wind based plant.
As a result the tendency of the companies to invest on the costlier greener technology is very less. As a result the CO2 emission is prone to increase rapidly making this world even hotter. The government and other agencies have to look in to this issue and increase the production of the greener and renewable energy to match the demand of energy. In order to avoid the CO2 emission and other global hotness issues the shift towards the renewable energy resources is very vital. But the cost of the energy might be comparatively costlier due to the investment charges. So this hot world needs more energy to sustain the development that is going on, at the same time the world has to work towards the reduction of the CO2 emission. There has already been some innovative discussion on installations of some newer technologies of renewable energy such as the massive Maglev wind turbine in China with $50 million investment which operates by magnetic levitation. With this technology we can power 750,000 homes, compared to the 500,000 homes powered by conventional wind mills. Secondly the conceptual wave park design developed by Oregon State University, shows how ocean waves and currents could be used to generate electricity that is clean and reliable. Thus we conclude that the solution to overcome hot world challenge is a costlier fuel that is the renewable energy. The solution is an expensive one but a very vital one to solve the global issue. The massive shift to renewable energy, coupled with energy efficiency technologies, is the solution to the global hotness.
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