The Future Of Sustainable Energy

As the world's population continues to grow, we require more resources to meet our increasing needs. The production of food, clothing, and shelter alone requires a massive amount of energy. While the earth is abundant in resources, many of them cannot be replenished. Environmental damage is also an important issue. Pollution, ecosystem disruption, and global warming are just some of the problems brought about by wanton disregard in the past. Now both governments and businesses are looking for ways to meet energy needs in a clean and sustainable manner.

Emerging Alternatives
Heavy dependence on fossil fuels has proven to be detrimental for the environment. Fortunately, the use of alternatives is on the rise thanks to advancements in their efficiency and steady reductions in cost. Renewable energy is becoming easier to produce. In 2013, around 9.5 percent of U.S. energy consumption came from renewable sources. This is expected to shoot up to 52 percent by 2040 according to the projections of the Energy information Administration. Several emerging industries will contribute to this incredible rise with the help of government subsidies, business ventures, and technological breakthroughs. These will depend on natural resources in a way that is safe and responsible.

Tapping Natural Resources
Solar energy is a prime example. There is virtually unlimited power that can be harvested from the sun. Panels are angled to catch its light, which is then converted into electricity. This can be used right away or stored in batteries for later. The efficiency of conversion has been gradually increasing while the cost of panels has dropped enough to make them affordable for many households.

Wind power is also generating large amount of energy thanks to the large windmills located on the coasts. This invisible force moves the blades and produces energy while generating negligible amounts of CO2 emissions compared to traditional sources. Geothermal energy, on the other hand, is produced using the heat deep below the earth's surface. Some HVAC systems are already using geothermal technology for greater efficiency.

Biomass comes in different forms: wood, biofuel, and waste. Each of these can be utilized in the production of clean energy. Indeed, wood already accounts for 23 percent of the country's renewable consumption, while biofuel is responsible for 22 percent. The practice of turning waste into valuable energy is on the rise as well. Farms and other agriculture-focused businesses are becoming more interested.

World Water Week
Water is another precious resource that can be tapped to generate hydropower. Participants in Stockholm's annual World Water Week will discuss the issue of using water for sustainable growth. The event is expected to draw more than 3,000 participants from some 130 countries. These will be composed of academics, decision-makers, business innovators, and other stakeholders. There will be plenty of opportunities to exchange ideas, build networks, and think of possible solutions to old and emerging challenges. Everyone is keenly aware of the importance of water for long-term growth. This conference will try to hammer out concrete steps to protect it while maximizing its potential.

The Future of Sustainable Energy, an infographic created by students in Ohio University's Master of Engineering Management program, demonstrates the United States' current renewable energy practices and how innovative research is creating energy from sea water.

Posted on Aug 22, 2016