The world needs to be less reliant on fossil fuels for energy. Getting there will remake the world’s largest economic sector energy into one that is more sustainable
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80 percent of the world’s energy, which is used to heat homes, charge electronic gadgets, and power transportation, comes from fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas. In addition to this, they are the major human contributors to emissions of greenhouse gases. There is a consensus among scientists at Stanford that lowering our reliance on fossil fuels would bring about considerable advantages, such as enhanced public health and a lessening of both the frequency and severity of natural catastrophes; however, it is not yet known what may take their place.
The sun does not always shine, and the wind does not constantly blow; yet, wind and solar power are becoming increasingly common sources of energy. Batteries to store their fluctuating energy are not yet readily available at an affordable price or with sufficient power to make up the difference. Although nuclear energy does not directly contribute to the production of greenhouse gases, the present generation of reactors does have other issues. There is hope in developing potential solutions such as storing carbon dioxide underground or transforming it into a clean fuel, but this will take a lot of work. There is not a single option that does not come with some kind of difficulty.
Eight scholars from Stanford outline how they anticipate the world becoming less dependent on fossil fuels in the future, among the various new possibilities now available. Steven Chu, a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics and a former Secretary of Energy for the United States, is now a professor of physics and of cellular and molecular biology at Stanford. He provides an overview of the extensive problem, which, in his words, “cannot be underestimated.” Other academics will discuss possible routes to improved technology as well as the public policies and financial structures that must be in place in order for the most promising applications to thrive. There is consensus among experts that reducing dependence on carbon-based fuel sources should be the primary objective and that a variety of approaches, rather than a single panacea, are more likely to usher in a better energy future.
It is imperative that we act quickly if we want to prevent hazardous levels of global warming from occurring. In this regard, the course that the energy industry will take in the future is wholly determined by the collective desire of us humans. Will we make the decision to stop using the polluting fuels of the past and instead embrace technology with a lower carbon footprint? Or are we going to continue acting as if the powerful hydrocarbon is going to be the source of energy for the future, just as we have done throughout the whole of our industrial history? Time is the only factor that will tell, and it goes without saying that the future is notoriously difficult to forecast.
How will the world’s energy needs be met in the years to come?
A cleaner and greener future may very well be possible with the help of promising alternatives such as atomic energy, solar energy, energy from wind, and biofuels. Fuel cells, geothermal energy, and ocean energy are some of the other somewhat novel types of energy sources that are now being investigated.
What does the future hold for the source of energy?
Hydrogen, nuclear fusion, the conversion of ocean thermal energy, and tidal and wave energy are all examples of potential new resources that are now the subject of study or development. (The topics of solar, wind, and geothermal energy are each covered in their own distinct fact sheet.) Hydrogen gas is a kind of fuel that shows promise for widespread use in the not-too-distant future (H2).
In what kind of state will the energy market be in 2050?
By 2050, liquid fuel will account for 28% of global energy consumption, while renewables will account for only 27%. This is based on the assumption that the demand for liquid fuel will grow by 36% from 2020 levels and that renewable energy will increase by 165%.
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