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Dhaka Sunday,  May 29, 2022

Searching The Alternatives Of Fossil Fuels Energy

Naim Ebna Rahman

Fossil fuels include hydro-carbon, coal, fuel oil or natural gas which are formed from the remains of dead plants and animals etc. Coal is the dominant fossil fuel occupying 40% and oil is the second dominant 37% of all fossil fuels. From 1990 to 2008, the use of fossil fuel has increased substantially. As a result the emission of carbon has risen from 6.4 Pentagrams of Carbon (PgC) per year to 7.7 PgC per year. The growth of international trade in developing countries and a shift to service economies contributed to rise of emissionsThis dramatic increase is due to a doubling from developing country like China, India etc. Rapid industrial development is regarded as one of the blessings of fossil fuels. Now at the present world the use of fossil fuels has been very much extensive and widespread for several reasons. As the cost of fossil fuels is very much cheap and available, so it has been very much reliable source of energy at the present days.
We are using fossil fuels for many years for fulfilling different purposes. Our heavy weight equipments are largely relied on fossil fuels. Besides, it is easier to find out sources of fossil fuels. In the world, some countries are hugely privileged with huge amount of fossil fuels. Transporting fossil fuels from one place to another place is very cheap and easy. Besides, it is comparatively safer as we can move fossil fuels like oil, gas with underground pipe lines.
However, the rapid use of fossil fuels has been a matter of concern nowadays. It is not a source of green energy. Fossil fuel is regarded as the reason of global warming as it contributes high amount of carbon emission. Another very important factor is that fossil fuels are non-renewable source of energy. It does mean that there is a finite amount of fossil fuels available and they cannot be re-produced.
The impact of global warming on environment is well-known to us. Fossil fuels are contributing to the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In the previous century the average temperature of earth rose 1 degree Fahrenheit. Warmer temperatures are causing the ice melting in the Arctic and Antarctica regions. Ultimately sea level is increasing which is very much threatening for our low lying countries. Sea level rise may dislodge may people living in the coastal areas and hamper agricultural and fishing cultivation.
Collecting fossil fuels from underground has dangerous impacts on natural ecosystem. Coal mining can be devastating for the environment and hazardous for the workers. Oil spilling may have adverse impacts on river or sea etc. Fossil fuel is not helpful for green environment. According to WHO, 7 million premature deaths are linked to air pollution. High level of air pollution may have adverse effects on our lunge. People who live in large amount traffic congested areas are at high risk of different diseases.
Most importantly, it is predicted that fossil fuel will be exhausted within next 50 years. Now it is time to find out alternative viable source for energy. Our heavy dependency on fossil fuel should be reduced. Renewable energy should be promoted for meeting energy crisis. Solar energy can be the most viable option for alternative energy sources. It is expected that by the middle of this century solar energy will meet the energy needs of 1 billion people.
Thus, sun, wind and water can be the alternative sources of energy. These sources are not harmful for environment and most of the times they are cost effective and efficient.
There are some disadvantages of renewable energy. Generally mills and solar panels grab large amount of space to collect energy. Besides, these sources solely depend on environmental stability. Down wind and cloudy sky weaken production of energy. You may not get the energy supply when you need it most. Renewable energy requires storage to store the energy between production and consumption. Therefore, this adds further value cost the production.
Fossil fuels are the main sources of energy for our modern world and it is regarded as the driving force of the global economy. But stocks of fossil fuels are limited and alternatives should be found without any delay. So the future of fossil fuels depends on our wise decisions. If we choose to use more fossil fuels, emissions will be continued. If we collectively choose to focus on efficiency and renewable energy, emissions will decline. For better and green environment, renewable energy is the only viable alternative of fossil fuels energy.

Writer Student, Department of Development Studies
University of Dhaka

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