Only renewable energy can meet our future needs
Beatrice Yeung HK International School
The world is facing multiple challenges. Not only are we required to respond to mounting energy needs competitively, we also have to tackle the depletion of easily accessible resources while tackling global warming.
Our planet relies heavily on diminishing energy resources, and our dependence is rapidly increasing as the human population rises at an astonishing rate. Therefore the question facing our world is whether we can weather the switch to sustainable energy.
The main source of energy used today is fossil fuels, coal, gas and oil. Those are non-renewable. While nuclear energy offers dramatic savings in greenhouse gas emissions when compared to petroleum and coal, it doesn't seem safe. Even hydroelectricity has its price.
The use of these energy sources is associated with both environmental problems and concerns for the future with inevitable shortage.
All governments have to realise the importance of sustainable energy. Research on alternative sustainable energy sources is ongoing, and governments that have not invested in renewable energy resources have to act.
Nevertheless, renewable energy alternatives are initially highly expensive, and impoverished countries will not be able to invest in environmentally-friendly options or have enough capital to develop them. Therefore, the developed world has an obligation to fund undeveloped nations so they can take concrete action. Developed nations are obliged to assist developing countries, while themselves adapting to cutting greenhouse emissions.
Renewable energy technology comes with many advantages for the environment. At the same time, there are disadvantages such as lower power levels depending on location and in some areas, environmental concerns.
Although it might be a while before many sustainable energy technologies come into serious play, in acknowledging the urgency of the problem due to climate change, the world is obliged to weather the switch to sustainable energy as soon as possible.
For now the use of renewable and non-renewable energy sources will continue, but our dependence on non-renewable energy is short-term and may aggravate the effects of global warming.
Although building a sustainable energy future requires considerable effort, this development will greatly benefit our future.