Energy is a vital ingredient for growth and sustainable development, and for the vast majority
of economic activities (WEC 2007). We use energy to do work. Energy powers and heats our
homes, fuel our cars, trains, and aeroplanes. It provides us with our water and we use it to
produce our goods and food. We couldn’t live without it. It is an energy surplus that allows us
to prosper as a species, by harnessing the power of energy to do our work (leaving time for
other activities) we have evolved and diversified.
Of the energy that we exploit today, the vast majority (approximately 86.5%) (Exon 2009) is
derived from fossil fuels. It is common knowledge that there are serious issues associated with
these sources; firstly, the finite quantity available to us is progressively diminishing, secondly,
greenhouse gases (as well as air pollutants), are released when fossil fuels are expended and
thirdly, fossil fuels are site specific. Furthermore some of the larger deposits are located in
areas where relations between the major suppliers and customers are problematic, which
frequently leads to uncertainties in supply.
Due to our (ever increasing) energy demands we are presently experiencing a decline in exhaustible energy resources coupled with serious environmental concerns regarding the greenhouse gases and air pollutants that they emit.
We already suffer from the consequences of our carbon-based energy
resources dependency, which contribute greatly to global warming. Widespread famine
caused by droughts, tropical storms and heavy precipitation are just a few of the effects
resultant from man’s affect on climate change.

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