Forty Years and Nothing’s Changed
We tend to think of modern energy consumption when we hear the term “energy crisis”. Our growing need for ever increasing quantity of energy in the form of oil and gas is certainly unsustainable yet it is the 1970s where we see two very big problems in relation to supply and demand of our energy requirements.
In 1973, a number of Arab nations attacked Israel on the most important day in the Jewish religious calendar. Israel retaliated by arming its military and occupying the Sinai region of Egypt. Due to the assistance of the USA arming Israel, the OPEC countries chose to withhold oil as a punishment and this trade embargo lasted until March 1974. In 1979, a similar situation occurred with the Iranian Revolution. As the revolution began, an oil embargo was enacted and later down the line when it was lifted, the supply coming out of the Middle East was smaller; this caused a reduced supply to those countries already suffering a shortage and of course, increased prices. This did lead to other oil-producing countries picking up the slack though bringing nations in South America and Asia onto the world stage.
Today, we face similar struggles not just against the various issues of instability in the Middle East but also because we are increasing our energy consumption.
Fifty Years Down the Line
Aside from the problems that climate change will bring, we need a solution to cope with this increasing demand: laptops, smartphones, ipads, always on wifi, air travel all require fossil fuels. Certainly environmental scientists and engineers have proposed a wide range of potential replacements to gradually wean us off of our oil addiction. Some of these include but are not limited to: solar power, hydroelectricity, nuclear, wind power, production of biofuels, geothermal and tidal power. Most are not viable as a single solution and we will expect in future that a combination of these as well as some new and emerging technologies will provide our energy.
One of the much lauded potential future technologies is fusion power and if it is ever developed, will provided an almost unlimited form of clean and safe nuclear energy. It has been talked about for many decades with little in the way of putting the theory into practice.
Sixty Ways to Save
Though the above methods will help to cope with the energy demands of the future and even in a way that is clean in order to save the environment for future generations, there are things that we can all do in the here and now to help the situation. Recycling is one of them. It is important to send as little to the landfill as possible because what is rubbish to you might be prized by somebody else.
We can use more economical vehicles and use them less often. We can replace our old boilers with a modern economical and environmentally friendly version. We can also turn off electrical equipment that we are not using instead of leaving them on stand-by. We can turn down our heating in the winter and our air-conditioning in the summer.
But what if you are a business and you are already doing a lot of these things? Are there other ways to reduce your energy consumption and, by design, the cost to you? The answer is that there is always something you can do. Energy management companies can provide you with a service in which they will, over time, monitor your consumption. Once the analysis is complete they will take a look at the data and see where it might be possible to reduce energy with only minimal disruption to your day to day activity. Whether you are a small business or a multi-national corporation you should always be able you to do something.
Sally Dimmock is an avid believer in reducing energy consumption and has been for the best part of twenty years. A previous employer had a commitment to respecting the environment and recently employed energy management companies to manage their energy consumption. Image source.