Energy Crisis, Then and Now
Energy is the blood of economic, political and social life. The energy resources form the security barrier and a strong ground for the further development of any country. It is worth to notice that coal, natural gas and oil together form more than 80 percent of the world`s energy resources.
Coal, hydro and nuclear energy is mostly used to electricity production. However, natural gas serves as energy source for heating, also wood is used for the same purposes. Nowadays a new step into energy independence is made by most of countries. To prevent energy misbalance and crisis as the result of it, new alternative energy resources are discovered: wind and solar power. It is also cold red sliver, it is not a huge source but it is a stable future, as this energy is inexhaustible.
It is an important power that directs people and controls their action. A lot of things are said about wars for drinking water, but even more severe wars are held for energy resources. He, who owns energy, owns the world.
It is obvious that now it is the age of oil, but unfortunately it comes to its end. Energy crisis that started in October 1973 and was caused by the Arab oil prohibition shows that there is nothing eternal ( Newman, 2008). This crisis changed his forms and strength, but it is a long lasting process that destroys the feeling of energy safety and leads to international misbalance between countries, moreover, a cold war is an obvious result of this situation.
Main Reasons and Solutions of the Energy Problem. Perspectives of Future Energy Catastrophe
Let us image the situation when the oil production is possible until the resources will finish; there is enough oil for the next 42 years. Almost the same situation is with natural gas and coal, these resources are enough for the next 80 years (Newman,2008). This lack of resources is obvious, thus, they are exhaustible. This energy problem leads to the increase of prices for this kind of resources. Moreover, there are several countries considered to be monopolists in owning natural resources, this means they will dictate their conditions for the use of energy they transfer. This negative changes could be sudden or planned, from this depends the result and solution of this situation. Today we speak about crisis, but if we do not start working in this direction we would talk about catastrophe. It will happen in fifty or hundred years, but we are responsible for its prevention. Here some statistic information is presented:
- The United States use more than 25 percent of the world's oil.
- More than 61 percent of all world`s oil resources are concentrated in the Middle East. The United States own only 2.4 percent of this oil.
- Nearly 66.3 percent of the world's gas resources are owned by the Middle East and the Russian Federation. The United States has 3.4 percent.( Engdahl, 2012)
The era of the lack and high prices for energy will be difficult for the entire society. The past experience shows that predicting policy is efficient and it could be possible solution, but not for a long time. Energy for the United States is available from a huge amount of different sources. This gives a fault feeling of safety, as people believe that an energy crisis would not happen. But the last fifteen year show that the prices for oil increase substantially and continue to grow nowadays. This growth is not evident as it is rather slow, but it effects all spheres of life. In the 1970s, natural gas was considered to be a major fuel. The regulations policy of that period was directed on the restructured gas market, and energy industry has showed its positive reaction on it. As the result, the demand for gas increase even faster than it was expected. This effects the positive changes in the economy. The results of predictive analysis show that more than fifty percent of demand on natural gas, for the next 20 years, will be gotten from the electric market. The actual demand on natural gas could increase by more than a 1/3 in 20 years. (Engdahl, 2012)
It is important to point out that to increase energy supplies good wells are not enough, there is also a strong need in new pipelines for transportation of energy resources. In 1998, the United States were able to produce 9.8 million more barrels of oil a day than it was required to satisfy all needs. The economic well-being of the 20th century was possible because of reach energy resources. The 21st century is a period that is illustrated by the lack of natural energy resources and environmental changes that are the result of this crisis. The price of the fuel energy influence the price of electricity, this industry needs oxygen and hydrogen to get electricity. Scientists argue that all the alternatives to oil and coal are expensive and difficult to get. Nuclear energy is also a powerful energy that is produced by the changes in the also called atomic energy is a powerful energy released by changes in the core of atoms. Moreover, the heat and light that we get from the sun are the results of nuclear activity. In case when a new nuclear plant appears, expenses for producing of energy may decrease, as such plant uses less of fuel for its activity. Many experts have underlain the advantages of nuclear energy as alternative or additional source of energy. (Tully, The global energy crisis)
A huge amount of energy is wasted by people. We do not think to turn off extra lights or fan, when we do not actually need them. We approximate the energy catastrophe by our own actions.
Now it is time to point out the main possible solutions of this difficult situation. The first thing we need to remember about is the rising population and rising demand on energy resources. The easiest way to prevent crisis is to start to save energy. Secondly, we need to limit the usage of energy that is non-renewable. There are a lot of alternatives to the natural energy resources nowadays (sun and wind energy, the same as geothermic and bio energy). But there is one problem on the way of usage alternative energy: expensive development and usage. In case if the production of wind and sun energy is on a rather high level, it becomes more rational to produce it, even if it should be transported. Actually it is possible that solar energy could become a rather cheap alternative to oil and coal. It is important that this type of energy could be easily transported as hydrogen.
Nowadays situation shows that the usage of oil and coal as the main sources of energy becomes economically not profitable. But oil and energy have different mining; a lot of alternative sources of energy are already explored. Moreover, these sources are renewable and it means that if we take care about energy sources now, there would be no worries concerning energy until the sun will shine. The only difficulty this alternative has is high prices for the technology and equipment for its production. But there is nothing impossible, saving of energy and producing new alternative sources can prevent us from energy catastrophe in future.
Moreover, there are a lot of reasons to decrease the use of energy. First of all, it costs money and, secondly, the non-rational usage of energy leads to pollution. The entire international society try to prevent pollution and you can take part in prevention of ecologic crisis too. All this can help us to save energy for the future. There is no such future which will lead to “energy shortage”; it is a danger that is successfully prevented.