There is a growing crisis over the world’s energy resources to try and find sustainable solutions to the world’s problems. There are 3 responses to help cover the crisis; Business as usual, Multi-energy solution and energy conservation. The business as usual scenario involve the world to keep using the fossil fuels and the International Energy Agency predicts that fossil fuels will still dominate energy into 2030, which cancels out the predictions of fossil fuels running out by then with the growing population and the rapid development of nations such as China and India.
This solution would involve natural gas consumption doubling and oil to increase by 1. 4 billion barrels a day. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to this solution. One advantage is that that development will continue without constraints which mean countries won’t have to spend time and money on developing any sustainable solutions, they can just continue with fossil fuels and develop as nations which would increase economic growth and the wealth of the countries would increase.
Another advantage would include that it is very costly to switch to a sustainable solution because the energy will need to be collected and stored and would need to be implemented around the whole country which costs a lot, and for developing nations this would mean that they can’t use that money for better purposes. Disadvantages would include fuel cost increasing. Because of the growing demand from developing nations and the increasing populations within countries, this would mean a higher price because supply is running out so eventually only the rich countries would be able to afford the oil.
Also, as it is such a necessity good, consumers are willing to pay any price to get the oil or resource. Another disadvantage is that global warming would accelerate faster. With this response, more fossil fuels are being burnt, hence increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air which would enhance the greenhouse effect. The second possible solution is Multi-Energy Solution which is meeting future energy demands from a mixture of renewable, recyclable and non renewable sources.
This would mean countries would have energy security to maintain an affordable supply for people and industry. Some advantages of this solution are that the country is not dependent on one type of source meaning that its energy secure. For example, wind power is useful for windy places but if for some days there is a lack of wind, people won’t have energy, so the country could use solar or nuclear energy to support their needs.
Another advantage would be using enough of the fossil fuels now, while developing the new type of sustainable renewable sources which will be very useful, thus creating jobs into that type of research and development. Disadvantages would include renewable energy has its costs such as it is very expensive to build and maintain, collecting and storing the energy is difficult and it is very inconsistent. This type of energy would include solar and wind power, so they might not choose to use it when it is still developing as a type of sustainable source of energy which would ensure security.
If a country is using nuclear power, then it could be very dangerous as the storing of the waste would become expensive and might harm the surrounding environment. Although it is a very reliable energy source, countries are unlikely to use it because of Chernobyl and if that happened today, the effects will be much worse. The last possible solution is Energy conservation which is a response to meeting the increasing demand based on decreasing the amount of energy we use.
Reasons why they would want to reduce consumption are based on reducing costs, reducing harmful emissions and promoting energy security. Advantages are that it will satisfy environmentalists because they would be using sustainable solutions and cutting down on fossil fuels which would decelerate the greenhouse effect. Another possible advantage is that renewable energy would develop as the main source of energy countries would use, which means not using fossil fuels and so unnatural weather patterns and disasters won’t occur.
Some disadvantages are that the transition from non-renewable to renewable is very expensive as installation, storing and distributing the power will all cost money and could be very unreliable at the start meaning countries won’t be energy secure. Also, countries will reject the plea of changing to renewable energy sources as they will want to develop as nations like we did and would want to have the industrial revolution and use up as much as they can to grow the country economically.
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