Week 9.

This week’s topic is on Energy and World Change. Given that Earth’s natural resources are limited and energy supply is falling, this results in rapidly rising energy prices which leads to a fall in the economic outlook of many countries, especially that of oil importing countries. The issue of energy security is a challenge that many countries currently face, apart from climate change and the need for environmental protection, as well as inequality. For example, Singapore is a major energy taker due to the inability to produce its own energy source, thus it relies on trade and resources from abroad for economic development. It is important for our government to ensure that our supply is sufficient to meet our needs, and energy security is a major concern as our resources are all externally acquired.

The world energy consumption has been rising, apart from a slight drop by 1.1% in 2009 due to the global recession. According to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy Resources for 2010 (Reading 1), the slight fall in energy consumption is by far the largest decline since 1980. Overall, the global consumption of energy is still on the rise. The energy sector is responsible for 60% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and urban air pollution, which is a major concern for global climate change.

Hence, there is a need to pursue energy sustainability, through investing in renewable energy sources and enhancing energy efficiency through the development of new technologies and approaches. It was mentioned in class, that more than 50% of the world’s resources is used for oil. This is an urgent call for more emphasis to be placed on renewable sources for energy, otherwise the world’s resources will eventually be depleted. Dominant players in clean energy investment includes countries such as China, US and UK, who are in the pursuit for energy sustainability through ambitious and versatile programmes, such as geothermal energy and solar ‘islands’.

I feel that solar energy as a renewable source of energy provides great opportunities to be tapped on. Up to 3850000 exajoules (exa = 1000000000000000000) of energy can be extracted from the Sun! Cherrie’s presentation on algae production as a renewable source of energy was pretty insightful, I agree with the Prof’s view that it has one of the greatest potential in the renewables scene. In fact, renewable energy as a whole, I believe, is a very promising area of energy consumption that deserves to be tapped on. As quoted by Prof Shahi, “The days for fossil fuels are numbered. Renewable energy will fuel the next Industrial Revolution.“.

I would rate this lesson 7.5/10. This topic is pertinent in our lives, and I feel that the range of new technologies being developed is pretty interesting, such as the development of solar grids and algae biodiesel.

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