The sun’s energy has been absorbed by our planet for billons of years and is currently being recycled in many forms. In one of its more common forms, the energy stored, in the form of Hydrocarbons, is released when we burn fuels such as oil, natural gas, coal, and wood. As plentiful and efficient as these energy sources may seem today, they all share common limitations. Quite simply, we have become increasingly aware that the use of these fuels to produce energy have negative and costly side effects in the form of air pollution, health and environmental damage, social and political unrest, increasing uncertainties for procuring stable supplies, and, regardless of how hard we want to ignore the facts, we will eventually consume all available supplies.
Today’s growth in developing third world nations, and the rapid development of technology and automation, has made electricity one of the fastest growing segments of the energy market. With global demand for electricity estimated to increase by more than 70% over the next 15 years, this rapid growth will only further strain and expose the limitations of the world’s current hydrocarbon economies.
What is needed to cope with the rising demands of the world’s energy needs is the development of new energy economies that employ multiple forms of clean, renewable energy sources. The development of solar, wind, and hydrogen energy sources will help to bridge and eventually sustain the energy economies of the future.