Sustainable Energy Sources
By definition, sustainable energy is the provision of energy such that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. That means that sustainable energy is energy which is replenishable within a human lifetime and causes no long-term damage to the environment. From this definition it is clear that all renewable energy sources are sustainable because base energy providers for renewable energy sources are very stable and human activity cannot influence those energy providers in some larger scale. For example, nuclear fusion on Sun will continue for a very long time (biofuels, solar power, wind power, wave power …), the Moon will also circle around the Earth for next couple of billions of years (tidal power), and Earth will not cool down very soon (geothermal power). Nuclear energy can be also considered as sustainable energy source because after nuclear fission era we will probably enter nuclear fusion era. Nuclear fusion is much cleaner energy source than fission and amount of fuel for fusion is practically unlimited – hydrogen and hydrogen isotopes.
Fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas) are not sustainable energy sources because they are limited in quantity and they cause long-term damage to the environment. Currently we do not know how to produce new oil, coal or natural gas without using more energy than we can get from that. Because of that we will use all fossil fuels created naturally and future generations will have to come up with some new energy source to meet their energy needs. Limited quantity of fossil fuels is in some way good for future generations because maybe we will run out of oil before we ecologically mess up entire World.
Because of fossil fuels, some energy sources that are currently being considered as a sustainable energy sources may become out of reach for us. For example, if we put to many dangerous gasses into atmosphere solar energy will become useless because of simple fact – to small amount of that energy will reach the Earth. That can then have big impact on other energy sources, for example if the amount of sunlight is not enough to sustain photosynthesis all plant will vanish and with that we will lose biofuels and biomass as energy source.
Main forms of renewable energy:
• Wind power
• Solar energy; photovoltaic
• Wave Energy
• Geothermal Energy
The objective of using sustainable energy resources is to generate electricity for public consumption.
Note that sustainable energy sources may also include technologies that improve energy efficiency.
Sustainable energy is about using energy wisely and using energy generated from clean sources and clean technologies.
Wise energy use is the first step to ensuring we have sustainable energy for present and future generations.
Being efficient with our energy will reduce our household and business energy bills, reduce the amount of energy we need to produce in the first place and cut energy related greenhouse pollution.
Energy demand A number of factors are indisputable. The world’s population will continue to grow for several decades at least. Energy demand is likely to increase even faster, and the proportion supplied by electricity will also grow faster. However, opinions diverge as to whether the electricity demand will continue to be served predominantly by extensive grid systems, or whether there will be a strong trend to distributed generation (close to the points of use). That is an important policy question itself, but either
way, it will not obviate the need for more large-scale grid-supplied power especially in urbanised areas over the next several decades. Much demand is for continuous, reliable supply, and this qualitative consideration will continue to dominate.
The key question is how we generate that electricity. Today, worldwide, 64% comes from fossil fuels, 16% from nuclear fission and 19% from hydro, with very little from other renewable. There is no prospect that we can do without any of these