Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sources of Energy

by Antonio C. Antonio
October 9, 2014

Technological advancement is directly related to the needs of man for energy… some will even say that it is directly proportional.  Gone are the days when the only source and form of energy is muscle power.  Anything that needs to be gone will have to be accomplished by brute strength, the limits of human strength is augmented by animal power… work animals like horses, elephants, cows, carabaos, elephants, etc. are some of the favourite sources of raw energy.  In time, other means of energy were introduced to cater to the human need for convenience.

Human need for convenience was the primary reason for the invention of hand tools (at first) then heavy equipment and machinery capable of mass producing goods and products to support man’s survival.  But producing these human consumption necessities entailed the use of energy and power.  The primary source of energy for industrialization is fossil fuels followed by coal, oil and natural gas.  These energy sources supply 90% of the world’s energy needs.

Industrialization got a needed shot in the arm with the use of natural resources especially fossil fuels.  A big problem however exploded in man’s face when he started to become aware of a condition called “peak oil”.  Peak oil, an event based on M. King Hubbert’s theory, is the point in time when the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum is reached, after which the rate of production is expected to enter terminal decline.  With this, alternative sources of energy became the order of the day.

It is noteworthy to mention that there are two types of energy sources: (1) renewable and (2) non-renewable.  Renewable energy sources are those provided by the sun, wind, water, biofuels and other resources that do not need a long period of time to be naturally produced.  Non-renewable energy sources are those that need 100 years or more before they are produced such as fossil fuel.

Even when the theory of peak oil scared man out of his wits, there are still reasons to be positive and hopeful.  In the past two to three decades, serious effort has been made to phase down man’s dependence on fossil fuel while researching and developing alternative sources of energy.

Just my little thoughts…

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1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your article. Please make more interesting topics like this on.
    I'll come back for more :)

    From Japs a researcher from Always Open Commerce