Today 25% of the world’s population (close to 1.5 billion people) lives without electricity. But basic electricity requirement of these people, for their fundamental needs such as light at night and pumping water, would amount to just one percent of the entire energy demand that prevails today. So the challenge that we are faced today should essentially be classified into two parts. One, to provide basic access of energy related services to millions of such people and two, to provide alternate low-carbon energy sources to cater to global economic growth.
It is evident from the recent statistics that fossil energy is becoming rarer by every passing day and soon it would become too expensive to afford. It is a global problem and no country is immune to it. We have to find a quick transition plan and should find newer methods to harness energy from available resources.
Below given are some practical solutions that might equip us to face the impending challenge.
- Energy conservation: According to a study undertook by McKinsey Global Institute in the year 2007, the energy efficiency of the U.S. is only half that of Japan i.e. the industries in U.S. consume twice as much energy resources as Japan, per dollar of their Gross Domestic Production. The situation is much worse in other developing economies. For example China utilizes 9 times as much energy resources as Japan and the list goes on. Governments of countries across the globe should devise such strategies which would strictly monitor energy usage in industries. Offenders should be penalized (preferably monetarily) and efficient production policies should be rewarded by incentives.
- Technology transfer: Developed economies should willingly transfer technologies, which uses limited energy or make use of alternate forms of energy, to developing countries. Energy resources depletion is a global crisis and it requires combined effort of all nations to tackle it.
- Alternate energy forms: We know which resources are scarce. So all we should do is to limit their usage and find substitutes for them. It is easier said than done, but taking a step towards that is absolutely necessary. Solar energy, wind energy, biofuel, nuclear energy and geothermal energy are some alternates available today. Increasing their usage and finding innovative methods of deriving more out of these resources is the order of the day.
Unless drastic measures are taken, we are faced with the danger of a total crash of the global economy in a not so distant future. So Governments of all the nations should take hard stands in their policy concerning energy consumption and if we all worked together we still stand a chance of saving the world from the doomsday.
Our finite world. (October 25, 2012). Retrieved from http://ourfiniteworld.com/2012/10/25/an-economic-theory-of-limited-oil-supply/.
Alan Davison. Alternative energy solutions for the 21st century. Retrieved from http://www.altenergy.org/.