As the global population increases, so too do the demands placed on the planet. This has resulted in a number of changes to our environment and terrain. Concerns have risen as to how much more strain can be placed on Earth before it collapses under this weight. One of the key areas in which we can increase sustainability is energy management done by Smart Energy Connect – something that requires less dependence on fossil fuels and a greater understanding of renewable energies.
The first area in which we can work towards sustainability is renewable energy. This is an area of considerable growth, with a number of countries investing large amounts in this sector. By 2050 the world will have to produce and supply 40% of its energy needs through renewable sources, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The use of household solar panels from green energy solution has seen a significant rise, with a fifth of households now having them installed on their roofs. In the UK alone there is around 3 million homes that use solar power. This has been a direct effect of government support – legislation such as Feed-in Tariffs and Solar PV tariffs ensure that companies are incentivised to install solar panels and become more sustainable.
Geothermal energy is another area in which we can increase sustainability. This is a form of energy that comes from naturally occurring heat and can be generated through a number of different techniques. It is most commonly known as the ground itself – where it exists underground. A lot of this technology currently exists, but it is not used to its full capacity and there are still many ways in which we can use this form of energy.
Biomass energy is also an area in which we can increase sustainability. As the definition suggests, biomass consists of organic materials such as plants or animals that have been grown and harvested for use as fuel rather than for food production. The black liquor produced in the pulp and paper industry is an example of a biomass fuel that is currently widely used in many parts of the world, particularly East Asia.
Hydropower is another area in which we can increase sustainability. It consists of generating electricity from moving water and it is the oldest form of renewable energy. The earliest examples are from China, where waterwheels were used to grind grain and saw wood, with the machines being driven by running water. Nowadays, however, hydropower provides 2% of total global energy production and 16% of electricity production according to IEA statistics.