ALTERNATIVE ENERGY AS VEHICLE FOR SUSTAINABILITY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Dr. Prashant Mehta Assistant Professor, Faculty of Science, National Law University, Jodhpur Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The original definition of sustainable development was that given by the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
Sustainable Development' usually refers to some form of modern technological society, with business taking responsibility for its impact on society and the environment.
It is a process that can be maintained in its current state of productivity over long period of time .
Sustainable development is about growth .
Sustainability is about costs and benefits of Today’s actions against costs and benefits of Tomorrow’s actions .
Many of our sources of energy generation influence the health of the environment . The burning of any of these resources produces some form of atmospheric pollution.
The combustion of coal releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide and small amounts of highly toxic uranium, lead, cadmium, mercury, rubidium, thallium, and zinc. These chemicals contribute to enhancement of the green house effect, photochemical smog, acid deposition.
The burning of petroleum fuels emits about 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere annually. Carbon dioxide is one of the dominant green house gas and its increase in the atmosphere may bring about a warming of the Earth's climate.
The use of oil for energy also releases hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.
Occasionally, transported oil is spilled into the environment where it takes its toll on wildlife / aquaticlife .
Burning any fossil fuel releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and thus promotes global warming. Comparison of CO2 emitted by fossil fuels and nuclear power.
From an environmental stand point, our current patterns of energy use are plagued with three major problems:
Energy derived from the combustion of fossil fuels creates large scale environmental degradation in the form of global warming, acid deposition and various forms of atmospheric pollution.
Supplies of fossil fuels are finite.
Many of human processes that require energy use this resource in a highly inefficient manner.
Projections of energy use into the middle of the next century suggest that demand for this resource will increase by approximately 400%. This increase in consumption will be driven by population and economic growth. However, environmental degradation and constraints on supplies of fossil fuels will force the human population to modify the way it uses and consumes energy.
Suggestions to make the transition to a more sustainable energy future
Reduced use of fossil fuels because of the need for environmental protection and increases in resource costs.
Increased use of technologies that make the burning of fossil fuels safer for the environment.
The development of more efficient human systems of energy use. Studies suggest that industrialized economies can significantly reduce their use of energy through conservation and technological innovation.
Increase reliance on renewable energy resources like biomass, solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectricity.
Development of new technologies for the production of energy. Some scientists predict that fusion may become a major source of energy for human needs within 50 years. Fusion produces far less dangerous radiation than fission and very little waste. Its fuel, deuterium, is also virtually inexhaustible.