Energy

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This page is about energy in 2 main forms: fuel and electricity.

Energy supply

The majority of energy comes from fossil fuels which cause climate change.


Energy sources

Limits to other energy sources

Energy source Limitations
Hydroelectricity Only viable in a few parts of the world
Geothermal In most parts of the world, is only suited for heating and cooling
Solar 1. Intermittant (not available at night)
2. Manufacturing is too resource-intensive
Wind 1. Intermittant
2. Turbine construction is too resource-intensive
3. Requires a lot of space, usually far from where people live
Nuclear Limited supply of uranium-235
+ Safety concerns
Biomass waste Limited supply
Biofuel Limited supply
+ Competes with food, contributing to hunger and deforestation

The intermittency problem of solar and wind could be solved with energy storage, if the right innovations happen.

Energy demand

Categorized by end use:
Energy uses

Can this demand (or at least, most of it) be met without fossil fuels?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Not without major technological breakthroughs.

Even worse: Most of the world is currently living in poverty. Suppose every country was as developed as western countries: Global energy demand would be more than double:

Energy demand if everyone lived a first-world lifestyle

But there is good news

If we did things differently, then...

  • Everyone on the planet could have a decent quality of life, and
  • Energy consumption would be just a fraction of what it is today.
  • Plus, people would be less overworked.

This might actually be the most viable route to net-zero carbon emissions.