Energy resources are the basic necessity of human life. For example, even to prepare a report, one needs many forms of energy such as the electricity to run a computer, for lighting, and for an air conditioner. Environmentalists consider energy a scalar physical quantity, which is measured by the amount of work that can be performed by the force (Rinkesh n.p.). There are two types of energy sources: renewable and non-renewable. Renewable energy includes the power generated by water, wind, and sun, while non-renewable includes that from crude oil, charcoal, and coal (Rinkesh n.p.) Renewable energy sources cannot be depleted, while non-renewable energy can be exhausted. To avoid the scarcity of energy in future, the renewable energy should be developed.
The beginning of energy crisis can be traced to the development of industries. The depletion of energy resources is disastrous since energy is a critical commodity for the socio-economic growth of countries. (Rinkesh n.p.). Especially it is essential for the transportation and manufacturing sectors of an economy (Irvine n.p.). This report is an evaluation of the energy crisis, its causes, and impact on countries at a global level. .
World Energy Crisis. Modern civilizations depend on abundance and economical energy. Research has revealed that oil accounts for 37% of energy supply, coal 25% while nuclear, biomass and hydro constitutes 23% (BP Global n.p.). It is also believed that if current oil productions remain constant, there will be enough energy to last for four more decades (BP Global n.p.). Thus, everybody must realize that if oil and gas become scarce, life will be more challenging since most of activities depend on energy. “Today, United States consumes about 25% of oil of which 70 percent is imported, and 61 percent of world oil reserves are found in the Middle East” (BP Global n.p.). Therefore, it is paramount for public and policymakers to understand global energy crisis and the science behind it.
Development of Energy Crisis. An Energy crisis refers to a depletion of energy resources which causes an increase in price that affects the economy (Asif n.p.). An excessive use of energy might make it an inaccessible commodity in the future.
Energy crisis is created by many factors. The major reason is the overconsumption of available energy resources. Similarly, the problems in the production and transportation of goods, labor strikes, and government prohibitions on commercial activities can also contribute to energy crisis. Energy crisis may also develop due to pipeline failures or such other accidents that may interrupt the normal flow of energy. The weather may also damage energy infrastructure, thus depriving people of valuable energy. Moreover, destruction of energy infrastructure due to terrorist activities can cause loss of energy. Labor problems in any oil-producing country may cause global shortages of the valuable commodity. Politically unstable conditions of a country too can disrupt the supplies of oil and gas, leading to world-wide shortages. In the modern consumerist society, any interruption of energy supply because of high cost of production or trouble in manufacture or transportation can result in a crisis.
Energy crisis has been haunting the human society for the past 4 decades. For instance, in October 1973, OPEC raised the price of oil from one to five, then 7 dollars per barrel. The reason behind the increase was the rise in the prices of other commodities. Moreover, countries producing oil wanted to maximize profits from the sale of oil to non-producing countries. Along with this, Iranian Revolution of 1979 generated a crisis through disruption of oil supply to other countries that heavily depended on it (Klare n.p.). The crisis destabilized price per barrel which shot to $34 from $24 before finally retailing at $ 20. The hiking of prices hit the major economies worldwide (Klare n.p.).
Oil shortages directly affected the economy, because the shortage led to a rise in the cost of living, forcing employees to demand salary increments. Moreover, energy crises experienced between 1973 and 1979 forced world economies to reduce oil usage and develop alternative sources of energy. Additionally, efforts were made to conserve energy by increasing the efficiency of engines. (Pears n.p.). The Gulf War of 1990 also presented energy supply challenges; there was a price hike on oil and difficulty in meeting the ever-increasing demand for the commodity. “In 2003, another crisis developed as a result of an increase in the price of the commodity and occasioned a stagnation in the production of the product” (Pears n.p.). In 2008 many central Asian countries faced energy crisis due to scarcity of water due to insufficient rain. China experienced energy shortages culminating in crises towards the end of 2005 and in early 2008 involving damage to power networks and a shortage of diesel and coal. Similar crises were experienced across the world in the past 40 years as the 2001 Californian electricity crises, the UK fuel protest of 2000, and Argentina’s energy crisis of 2004.
Positive Impacts of the Energy Crisis and Remedies. Energy crisis experienced worldwide
changed people’s attitudes towards energy sources. Many countries started studying the feasibility of developing alternative sources of energy to protect industries from energy shortages. Energy crisis acted as an eye opener to many, which led to manufacturing energy-efficient engines to conserve the scarce commodity. Careful storage and use of energy became a priority as a precaution against artificial shortages in the supply of oil. Efforts were made to reduce the dependence on foreign oil, by focusing on availability of domestic oil. Thus, energy crisis had a positive impact on the governance of natural resources, especially non-renewable resources. It led to sound decision-making and policies for protecting the natural environment. The energy conservation policies and measures framed by the governments prepared the world to face the challenges pertaining energy resources, at least temporarily.
Remedies for energy crises include reducing over-dependence on oil, replacing oil with alcohol based fuels, and preventing fires and roof collapses in coal mining sites. Moreover, there is a need to develop more efficient methods for liquefaction of coal products to ease long distance transportation. Another option is developing safer and cheaper, renewable energy from solar, wind, and geothermal sources. As a measure to conserve energy, David Pimentel, a professor at Cornell University, has called on countries to reduce the world’s population. According to him, this would prevent permanent energy crisis because of reduced demand.
An energy crisis is a global phenomenon, which can rewrite the future of the planet. It can cause disruption in the supply of energy resources, unprecedented increases in prices, and poor governance. However, the world can be cushioned against threats of an energy shortage if it introduces sound measures to protect the scarce resource and promote the use of alternative sources of energy.
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https://www.dawn.com/news/1326795 Accessed 18 Jul. 2017.
BP Global. “Statistical Review of World Energy.” BP Global, 2017,
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Irvine, J. “Energy Crisis: The 9 Questions You Were too Embarrassed to Ask.” The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 Mar. 2017, http://www.smh.com.au/comment/energy-crisis-the-9-questions-you-were-too-embarrassed-to-ask-20170318-gv13jd.html Accessed 18 Jul. 2017.
Klare,T. Michael. “The Global Energy Crisis Deepens: Three Energy Developments That are
Changing Your Life.” The Huffington Post, 6 Jun. 2011.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-t- klare/global-energy-crisis_b_871956.html. Accessed 18 Jul. 2017.
Pears, A. “Gas crisis? Energy crisis? The Real Problem is Lack of Long-term Planning.” The
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Rinkesh, K. “What is Energy Crisis?” Conserve Energy Future, 2017, http://www.conserve- energy-future.com/causes-and-solutions-to-the-global-energy-crisis.php Accessed 18 Jul. 2017.