14 February 2006

No reason for pessimism

Tomorrow, where will our energy come from?

I don’t mean the physical energy that our body requires, but the kind of energy that sustains us as a collective community… a living planet. That means, I’m talking about the supply of oil, thermal and nuclear power, natural gas, fossil fuel, etc. that sustain us everyday. The world’s demand for energy is increasing, resulting in increasing prices of not just fuel but almost everything, and there doesn’t seem to be a way out.

A rapidly growing world population and economic growth all around have big roles to play here. For instance, escalating demands for energy in developing countries like India and China are large contributing factors in increasing demand for world energy. Then, there are issues like trade barriers, a lack of transportation infrastructure (which once again relies on oil), global warming and climate change, and the threat of terrorism affecting supply.

There’s an urgent need for diversifying the supply of energy, managing the demand-supply ratio, finding and adopting ‘cleaner’ technologies, sharing information, winning public trust… so that the world’s need for energy in the future is not in jeopardy.

That ought to be a neat summary of the world energy issue at hand. So, imagine my surprise when I learnt from the World Economic Forum that there’s no looming energy crisis in our hands. That, there is adequate supply of energy for the whole world. That, the market and the governing energy institutions are (and will be) ready to absorb the energy shocks of the future. Apparently, there’s no reason to worry, nor to be pessimistic.

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