In a speech at the 90th Science Congress, internationally acknowledged scientist and former Indian President Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam mentioned a very important aspect of mankind’s future energy crisis. He pointed out that the era of wood and biomass has almost come to an end. The age of oil and natural gas would soon be over within the next few decades. Massive burning of the world’s coal reserves may lead to a worldwide ecological disaster because coal-burning emits the highest among of carbon in the atmosphere. Ukraine’s (former the Soviet Union) Chernoby1 disaster in 1986 has exposed that nuclear energy can be potentially dangerous too. So according to Kalam, the only solution mankind can look to is solar energy in the future because it has some advantages over other forms of renewable energies. Now, why has Kalam put so much importance on the issue of energy?
The energy source has always been a major factor of change throughout history. The world’s petroleum consumption has increased from annually 3 billion barrels in 1930 to annually 50 billion barrels today. In the next quarter-century, the world’s population is expected to be about 8 million which is 30 percent higher than today. Developing countries will grow their economies about to continue at 3 percent per year. Consequently, the global demand for energy will grow at 1.7 percent per year on average. It indicates a 50-percent rise in energy consumption by 2030. If the world’s daily petroleum consumption is 220 million barrels now, it will rise to 335 million barrels by that time. The percent reserve of hydrocarbon energy resources is limited and it will not be sufficient to meet the future energy challenges of the world. And hence, leading industrial countries have taken initiatives to tap alternative energy sources mainly known as green or renewable energy sources. The bottom line of Kalam’s speech indicates the concern of mankind in the 21st century.
[Statistics from Rex W. Tiller son]
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