Renewable energy is derived from resources that have the element of replenishing continuously, such as wind, sunlight, rain, and geothermal heat. An estimation of 16% of the global final energy consumption is from renewable energies. Further, it is estimated that 10% of all energy comes from biomass. Hydroelectricity produces 3.4%. The growth of wind power is gaining momentum, with 30% recordings annually. Many of the renewable energy projects are found in rural settings due to the need for land. The world has a high reliance on energy from solar. This new trend has been occasioned by the rising prices of oil. Poor countries can only prosper if they make consistent utilization of the existing renewable energy. Small systems that have the effect of providing for mini-grids and are designed to serve more people are already available. There are massive campaigns by the government to encourage private energy generating companies to use renewable energy (Cowie, 2013). This has been made possible through adopting policies that discourage natural energy use. Legislations have been enacted with the aim of completely limiting the consumption and use of natural energy.
The United Nations’ Secretary General has highly encouraged developing countries to use renewable energy as the main drive to their economies. With the global financial crisis, the use of renewed energy has become predominant since countries are interested in cutting the cost of energy (Carvalho & Afgan, 2007). This essay will provide an in-depth discussion on whether renewable energies make a major contribution to the global energy budget. In addition, potential options for the expansion of renewable energy in Europe up to 2050, and the distribution of resources throughout the EU will be discussed. Lastly, the essay will identify the new developments in technologies that can make a major impact on the development of renewable for electricity, heat, and transport (Ball & Wietschel, 2009).
Energy has played a very critical role in the promotion of sustainable development throughout time. Energy has major influences on all aspects of life. For instance, economic, political and social activities are determined by energy. Climate and environment too have been influenced by energy, thus making energy a determinant factor in the day-to-day life. The use of energy is determined by production. Countries with high production are likely to use more energy. For a country to support sustainable energy there should be permanent and consistent production of energy by a suitable energy source. The assurance of energy production should rule out negative effects such as pollution and other detrimental effects to the lives of people (Ball & Wietschel, 2009). Peace and conflicts have been determined by the use of energy in most prevailing cases.
There are several attributes that have determined the energy deficits in the world today. First, there is excessive consumption and need to consume more energy today. Finite energy resources are under threat. Secondly, there is a looming change in the global economy due to the use and exploitation of energy deposits. Thirdly, there is an imbalance in the industrialized countries as opposed to the developing countries. Risks associated with use of new forms of energy are causing many risks to the climate and people around (Ball & Wietschel, 2009).
Consumption of energy was set during the phase of industrialization. The increased consumption has been seen in developed countries more than in the developing countries. However, the risks have been felt in the two types of countries. There are statistics showing that the need for energy is rising more than the world’s population. Available data shows that an individual today consumes three times more energy than it was consumed by an individual one hundred and thirty years ago. The rise in energy consumption is said to have increased tremendously since 1950. By 1970 and 2000, the consumption doubled but the growth may be hindered in the future due to various reasons (Guerrero-Lemus & Martinez-Duart, 2013).
The global energy is substantially based on the energy fossils. It has been predicted that fossil energy is needed and will be needed in years to come. The energy supply structure has changed completely with the rise of new energy production to meet the rising demand. The focus today is to produce energy that has less negative impacts to the environment. Consumption of energy goes hand in hand with the economic demands of a given country. The adverse environmental impacts caused by exploitation of fossil energy have made a remarkable shift in the production of energy to come up with more sustainable energy sources. This condition has primarily raised an outcry, with all shareholders and stakeholders are working towards having renewable sources of energy (Guerrero-Lemus & Martinez-Duart, 2013).
The use of technology in the renewable energy sources has brought about remarkable changes in the world of energy production. There is a considerable display of the various forms of energy sources. It should be noted that the use of hydro power for more than a century has made production of other types of energy possible. The production of hydro geothermal power is taking essential steps in the entire power generation sector. There are other methods that are based on the combustion technologies. These energy production methods are also based on gasification and fermentation (Benoit & Comeau, 2005). These energy generation types have found their maturity in the market for ready utilization. Hydro-power and geothermal power have been used to provide energy for supply dependent grid based on electricity. Biomass utilization has been used to meet meteorological demands. In most cases, the technology is used as a booster to the renewable sources of energy. The energy tally in many occasions has offered an advantage to individuals, whereby it can be used directly or closer to consumers. The use of hydropower has been preferred in the world today due to its long standing generation of electricity. In Europe, the use of hydropower has been enhanced by expanding the existing plants. The remaining energy sources have been used to reduce the amount of cost incurred during production. The minimum ecological requirements during the production process must be complied with. Cost of production and the energy produced should be proportional. The use and development of wind energy has been of great importance to the economic situation in most European countries. This has been the situation for the last one decade. The cost of new systems has hit stagnation in the recent past (Johansson et al. 2012).
There is a renewed interest in the use of wind power and its success could be of importance in the energy economy. This will be essential in cutting the cost of energy production, thus making a substantial contribution and high level of investments. Technical developments have to be put in place to have increased wind energy production. Germany is one of the countries that have recorded a high level of wind power production. Europe has a 73% percent representation of the entire wind power production in the world. Many countries still display potential in wind production, which is yet to be exploited. Geothermal energy has made its importance felt throughout time as a major supplement to hydropower. It requires a lot of research to ensure that geothermal power is generated. The cost of production is in many occasions linked with the reason why geothermal electricity generation is largely unpopular. Europe’s advancement in renewable sources of energy is commendable. It is essential to utilize the expertise in utilization of more generation of the resources. The sole goal of the parties in the energy generation sector is to cut the emissions of carbon. This has been achieved by imposing a carbon tax, thus making companies and other energy producer’s switch to renewable sources to evade the tax imposed. Political agreements have led to reduced carbon prices, thus making the situation worse (Müller-Kraenner, 2008).
Countries should adopt an incentive based program to make a smooth switch to the use of renewable energy. There are various ways through which the incentives can be supported. It takes the initiative of many countries and, at some instances, the cooperation of the entire world. Some of the mechanisms utilized may lead to uncalled for increased prices for consumers. There are many obligations imposed on countries to enhance alternative means of generating power. European countries have taken up the need to have sustainable energy seriously. This has been done through promoting programs that are in support of wind and solar energy production (“NATO SFP Workshop on Renewable Energies for Central Asia Countries: Economic, Environmental and Social Impacts”, & Iacomelli, 2005).
The only way by which countries can contribute to safeguarding the environmental and cutting down the high cost of energy is by investing in renewable energy. This may take many years to put in place, but the results are long lasting. Renewable energy is cheap and has fewer risks to the environment. The cost of energy production can be dealt with by putting up mechanisms to arrive at varieties of energy production methods. The price of energy has gone up due to use of oil and power to generate energy. European countries have taken the move towards renewable energy resources seriously, with countries such as Germany having high wind and solar recordings. Countries have changed their energy production patterns due to taxes levied on carbon and other environment polluting substances. Countries have witnessed the impact of renewable energy in subsidizing cost in order to reduce the cost of production. The global energy budget can be facilitated by countries agreeing to be part of the renewable energy initiatives. Strict legislations should be enacted to prevent any form of energy production that does not work towards enhancing clean environment and reduced cost of production. The relationship between clean environment and cost of production is thin, thus countries should embrace the need to come up with new ways of maintaining the relationship. The change in energy production methods towards embrace of renewable energy sources is vital in promoting favourable energy channels that are reliable.
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Cowie, J 2013, Climate change: Biological and human aspects, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Guerrero-Lemus, R & Martinez-Duart, JM 2013, Renewable energies and CO2: Cost analysis, environmental impacts and technological trends– 2012 edition, Springer, London.
Johansson, TB, Patwardhan, A, Nakićenović, N, Gomez-Echeverri, L & International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis 2012, Global Energy Assessment (GEA), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
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NATO SFP Workshop on Renewable Energies for Central Asia Countries: Economic, Environmental and Social Impacts, & Iacomelli, A 2005, Renewable energies for central Asia countries: Economic, environmental and social impacts, Springer, Dordrecht.