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Experts often seem to be doomsayers when they keep warning us to control our energy demand so that the supply does not mismatch with the demand. We think that there are several power plants across the globe and this power stuff is without much ado. Of course human beings are skeptical by nature and are not convinced easily about anything unless backed by facts. This is a good characteristic in a way as it is in tune with the concepts of science which does not believe in anything unless backed by substantial facts. So I am not trying to act another doomsayer but just trying to throw some light on the darker aspects of power scenario of the world – the way it is growing vis-à-vis depleting natural sources of power.
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The Energy Scenario
The good news is that the world is developing very fast and literally every nook and corner of the globe is experiencing this growth. Although some experts would certainly disagree and point towards several places which are still underdeveloped due to several reasons but the financial analysis is not the theme of this article.
The bad news (I would call it not so good news) is that energy consumption is also rising. In the year 2007 the overall energy consumption of the world grew by nearly two and half percent. This may not seem a very high percentage but then keep in mind that it is a percentage and the absolute values are really huge. The paradox about this growth of consumption is that the developed world is actually reducing overall consumption while the fast developing economies such as China and India are the major players in this growth ballgame. To give you an idea in the same year (2007) the consumption of European Union declined by 2.2% while in China it grew by 7.7% thus nullifying the advantages of EU decline.
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Where does it come from?
I am not against development or people enjoying more comforts and spending more energy but the million dollar question (you can also call it the million barrel question) is the source of this energy. Power plants – you will say, yes but power plants do not run on air (I mean wind power plants do, but their current contribution is quite small) and certainly need a source of power. We have been reading about various sources of power such as nuclear, hydro and oil. Out of these oil reserves are a cause for concern as whatever the amount is left in stock, it is still a non-renewable source. Take a look at the graph in figure 1 which shows the amount of oil reserves in different parts of the globe in the year 2007. It shows the latest proven reserves in thousand million barrels. Also take a look at this site which is not very recent but should give you a rough idea about the oil consumption per day. So just calculate for how many years these reserves will last.
In the end we can say that though there are several alternatives available to mankind even if oil reserves run out, still it is always best to be conservative about a precious resource. Every one of us should consider as his/her duty to conserver energy and contribute in our own small way to the energy saving campaign.
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Figure 1: Global Oil Reserves in 2007
Courtesy: BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2008
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