It is no secret that fossil fuels, the major supplier of our energy needs, will run out and will be gone for good. While no one can predict when exactly it will happen, looking for an alternative resource is only paramount – enter the renewable energy.
In his recent visit to Baybay City for the launching of the Renewable Energy Research Center in Visayas State University, Secretary Carlos Jericho “Icot” Petilla of Department of Energy gave emphasis on why we should start maximizing the benefits of renewable energy.
Petilla said that renewable energy offers various benefits including better environmental quality and vast and inexhaustible energy supply.
Leyte Vice Governor Carlo P. Loreto echoed the same statement and said that renewable energy is an alternative supply that is reliable and resilient to our energy system.
We can’t help but agree on this considering that fossil fuels are very old and they are very much finite. Even if Earth has a vast of fossil fuel reserves, we have already consumed a large amount of them. In fact, studies suggest that its wide-scale extraction started over 200 years ago, leaving the reserves all but dwindling.
According to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, “There are estimated 1.3 trillion barrels of proven oil reserve left in the world’s major fields, which at present rates of consumption will be sufficient to last 40 years. By 2040, production levels may be down to 15 million barrels per day – around 20% of what we currently consume. It is likely by then that the world’s population will be twice as large, and more of it industrialized (and therefore oil dependent).”
Dr. M. King Hubbert, a world-renown geophysicist, popularized the concept “peak oil” in his theory called the “Hubbert Curve.” Forbes has perhaps the best explanation of this concept when they said, “Peaking is a simple concept. We generally exploit natural resources in a bell-shaped curve, with the rate of extraction increasing over time until we reach a peak and then gradually slowing down until we stop using them. Peak oil is not about “running out of oil”; it’s about reaching the peak rate of oil production.”
Now, have we reached the peak point in terms of fossil fuel usage?
The studies of many scientists suggest different deadlines. Some said that we are currently in the “peak oil”; others predict that it would occur sometime in 2030.
But the real question is, what happens after the peak point?
It all points to these: we will see a decline in oil production, we will never experience cheap price of gas again, globalization will be affected and there will be an unrelenting exploitation of the used-to-be protected drilling sites.
Basically, it’s going to be the worst-case scenario and we simply can’t live with that. Hence, it only makes sense that we adapt an alternative resource like the renewable energy.
Renewable energy is an energy that comes from limitless sources such as sun light, wind, tidal power, and geothermal heat. It is constantly replenished making it a dependable replacement to electricity, rural energy, motor fuels and heating.
The benefits of Renewable Energy
- Renewable energy is infinite. Therefore, it is sustainable and will never run out.
- It offers little to no global warming emissions such as carbon dioxide and other chemical and toxic pollutants, thus offering a lesser impact on the environment and to the public’s health.
- It is a reliable energy source and is not dependent on wars, trade disputes, political instabilities, and high prices.
- Facilities used for renewable energy require less maintenance than conventional generators.
- It offers a stable and steady energy prices since it is not reliant on the fluctuating cost of natural resources.
As long as we use vehicles for transportation, gadgets for communications and fun, appliances to run our homes and the what-nots, the demands for sufficient energy will last a lifetime. The bad news is, fossil fuels cannot forever meet that high demand. The good news? We have a renewable energy to rely on.