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Energy fossil fuel will dominate energy use through 2050 | Upload General

Fossil Fuel Will Dominate Energy Use Through 2050

by: Sharai Hoekema
fossil fuel will dominate energy use through 2050 | Upload

Very few topics are garnering as much attention in the context of initiatives to combat global warming as clean energy. And the signs are promising. Renewable energy initiatives are popping up left and right, using pretty much all of the ‘clean’ elements that our earth has to offer - from wind, water, and sun to the breeze generated by the London Underground. We want to say farewell to fossil fuel!

Fossil Fuel: Energy Use Targets Globally

Some Scandinavian countries are ambitiously agreeing on targets to have all of their country’s energy use be derived from renewable sources. At the same time, corporations and institutions left and right are pledging to reduce their fossil fuel production and use drastically, in favor of more sustainable alternatives.

What is fossil fuel made of?
Fossil fuel. Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons, primarily coal, fuel oil or natural gas, formed from the remains of dead plants and animals. In common dialogue, the term fossil fuel also includes hydrocarbon-containing natural resources that are not derived from animal or plant sources.

Climate Neutral Countries But Fossil Fuel Will Dominate 

Although those who take the time to read the ‘finer print’ on those pledges will be quick to find out that this is far from straightforward, in fact, Sweden - the first nation to become fossil-fuel-free, if all goes well - has given itself a somewhat lengthy timeline: the goal is to be climate neutral by 2045, and fossil-fuel-free by the time 2050 rolls around.

Windfarm sea Sweden
Windfarm Sweden

Recommended: Oil Pollution Is The Dirty Secret Behind Green Norway

Let’s digest that for a second. That is still more than three decades away - decades that are, if we are to believe the scientists, decisive for the future of humankind and, by extension, our planet. And this is one of the world’s most progressive, innovative countries talking, who already rely heavily on renewable energy sources. 

If they, who already generate more than half of their energy needs from renewable sources today, need thirty-something years to ‘turn the tide,’ so to speak… Well, one can only guess how much time other nations, still heavily dependent upon their coal and other ‘dirty’ energy sources, will need to do the same.



                                     How Big Oil Conquered the World - History Channel Documentary 2019
                                            Fossil Fuel Will Dominate Energy Use Through 2050: Globally

Energy Use Through 2050: Globally Multi-Faceted Problem

Admittedly, the problem at hand is complicated. This is not something that is ‘easily solved,’ nor is there a ‘quick fix.’ We’ve gotten to this stage because of two undeniable trends. 

First, the global energy demand continues to grow - albeit at a slightly lower rate than before, for reasons I’ll get into later. The fact remains that the world’s population is still increasing, and welfare is on the rise, meaning that more people will be connected to power than ever before. This growing demand puts an enormous strain on producers to deliver more energy, preferably at a lower cost.

How does fossil fuel work?
The heat that is used to burn fossil fuels cause molecules of carbon and hydrogen to react and produce large amount of energy. When they are exposed to heat, the hydrocarbon chain converts the heat energy contained in the fossil fuel to electrical energy to create electricity or mechanical energy to drive the engines.

Electricity poles wires sunset

At first glance, it sounds like good news that the growth in demand is slowing somewhat. The slowing population growth and economic growth are a large part of this trend - combined with more digitization and greater energy efficiency. People tend to be more conscious about the use of energy, while digitization can replace individual travel or production needs. 

Recommended: Climate Change: New Renewables Capacity Stalled Globally 2018

Rise Of Renewable Sources

So far, so good - while we still require more energy year after year, the slower growth is allowing production to catch up with it in the next decades. Secondly, there’s a significant difference in the growth rate between the demand for electricity and the demand for transport - which has historically been the most significant energy user. Instead, the need for power will be making up a quarter of the total energy demand of the world by 2050, compared to 18 percent today. This means that new renewable sources will have to be used more, mainly wind and solar - alongside the full range of renewable fuel options like hydrogen used for transport purposes.

wind turbines, solar panels

The share of wind and solar power is expected to grow up to five times faster than any other source of energy. Non-hydro renewables will, by 2050, make up more than a third of the global power generated. Once again, a positive trend, pointing at a growing reliance on renewable sources instead of fossil fuels.

What is renewable and non-renewable energy?
Non-renewable energy includes coal, gas and oil. Most cars, trains and planes use non-renewable energy. They are made by burning fossil fuels to create energy. Renewable energy includes solar, hydro and wind energy. Wind energy is made when the wind moves the blades on a wind turbine.

Energy Use Through 2050: Globally

There is a painful little side note, though. ‘2050’ keeps on popping up as a far-away target that most of us will be happy to work towards, yet that is far away enough to be brushed off when deemed inconvenient. Because the main issue seems obvious: the world needs more energy. And for the time being, demand still far exceeds the sustainable supply, meaning that something - in this case, fossil fuels - is required to bridge the gap. 

This leads to another undeniable conclusion, being that fossil fuels are likely to dominate the global energy market for decades to come - at least until we get to 2050. Producers and corporations are quick to reason it away by stating that massive investments have already been made. And because of the reliability of and heavy dependence upon this energy source, the market is hesitant to move away too much newer sources abruptly.

Energy Use Through 2050: Time Is Running Out

Yet the world needs more than ‘we will get rid of fossil fuels around 2050’. The cold hard truth is that the emission of energy-related greenhouse gasses will continue to rise over the next decades, up to a growth of some 14 percent by 2040. This is not helping us in limiting the warming of our planet to two degrees, the critical threshold as set by experts. 

Graphic oil consumption by region

And yes, eventually those emissions will level off and drop - projections say this will be around 2035. Not only will this serve as the turning point of renewable energy overtaking fossil fuels, but it also marks the start of an era of higher energy efficiency. 

The road ahead seems obvious. We will, eventually, be able to get rid of fossil fuels for our energy needs altogether. The figurative finger, however, must be kept on the pulse at all times: the growing world population and corresponding increasing demand for energy will have to be managed carefully; and balanced with technological development and a relentless focus on renewable energy to keep our focus clear: minimizing the effects of global warming.

Recommended: Five Minutes To Midnight: Climate Change Action Fighting The Clock

We will have to keep on walking the talk, so to speak, if we are to cut out fossil fuels for good and discourage any new investments in this polluting industry. Sweden goes first, but other countries should be quick to jump the bandwagon and make similar pledges sooner rather than later.

Before you go!

Recommended: Geothermal Power Accessible As Wind And Solar Energy: Climeon

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Fossil Fuel Will Dominate Energy Use Through 2050

Very few topics are garnering as much attention in the context of initiatives to combat global warming as clean energy. And the signs are promising. Renewable energy initiatives are popping up left and right, using pretty much all of the ‘clean’ elements that our earth has to offer - from wind, water, and sun to the breeze generated by the London Underground. We want to say farewell to fossil fuel! Fossil Fuel: Energy Use Targets Globally Some Scandinavian countries are ambitiously agreeing on targets to have all of their country’s energy use be derived from renewable sources. At the same time, corporations and institutions left and right are pledging to reduce their fossil fuel production and use drastically, in favor of more sustainable alternatives. What is fossil fuel made of? Fossil fuel. Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons, primarily coal, fuel oil or natural gas, formed from the remains of dead plants and animals. In common dialogue, the term fossil fuel also includes hydrocarbon-containing natural resources that are not derived from animal or plant sources. Climate Neutral Countries But Fossil Fuel Will Dominate  Although those who take the time to read the ‘finer print’ on those pledges will be quick to find out that this is far from straightforward, in fact, Sweden - the first nation to become fossil-fuel-free, if all goes well - has given itself a somewhat lengthy timeline: the goal is to be climate neutral by 2045, and fossil-fuel-free by the time 2050 rolls around. Windfarm Sweden Recommended:  Oil Pollution Is The Dirty Secret Behind Green Norway Let’s digest that for a second. That is still more than three decades away - decades that are, if we are to believe the scientists, decisive for the future of humankind and, by extension, our planet. And this is one of the world’s most progressive, innovative countries talking, who already rely heavily on renewable energy sources.   If they, who already generate more than half of their energy needs from renewable sources today, need thirty-something years to ‘turn the tide,’ so to speak… Well, one can only guess how much time other nations, still heavily dependent upon their coal and other ‘dirty’ energy sources, will need to do the same. {youtube}                                      How Big Oil Conquered the World - History Channel Documentary 2019                                             Fossil Fuel Will Dominate Energy Use Through 2050: Globally Energy Use Through 2050: Globally Multi-Faceted Problem Admittedly, the problem at hand is complicated. This is not something that is ‘easily solved,’ nor is there a ‘quick fix.’ We’ve gotten to this stage because of two undeniable trends.   First, the global energy demand continues to grow - albeit at a slightly lower rate than before, for reasons I’ll get into later. The fact remains that the world’s population is still increasing, and welfare is on the rise, meaning that more people will be connected to power than ever before. This growing demand puts an enormous strain on producers to deliver more energy, preferably at a lower cost. How does fossil fuel work? The heat that is used to burn fossil fuels cause molecules of carbon and hydrogen to react and produce large amount of energy. When they are exposed to heat, the hydrocarbon chain converts the heat energy contained in the fossil fuel to electrical energy to create electricity or mechanical energy to drive the engines. At first glance, it sounds like good news that the growth in demand is slowing somewhat. The slowing population growth and economic growth are a large part of this trend - combined with more digitization and greater energy efficiency. People tend to be more conscious about the use of energy, while digitization can replace individual travel or production needs.   Recommended:  Climate Change: New Renewables Capacity Stalled Globally 2018 Rise Of Renewable Sources So far, so good - while we still require more energy year after year, the slower growth is allowing production to catch up with it in the next decades. Secondly, there’s a significant difference in the growth rate between the demand for electricity and the demand for transport - which has historically been the most significant energy user. Instead, the need for power will be making up a quarter of the total energy demand of the world by 2050, compared to 18 percent today. This means that new renewable sources will have to be used more, mainly wind and solar - alongside the full range of renewable fuel options like hydrogen used for transport purposes. The share of wind and solar power is expected to grow up to five times faster than any other source of energy. Non-hydro renewables will, by 2050, make up more than a third of the global power generated. Once again, a positive trend, pointing at a growing reliance on renewable sources instead of fossil fuels. What is renewable and non-renewable energy? Non-renewable energy includes coal, gas and oil. Most cars, trains and planes use non-renewable energy. They are made by burning fossil fuels to create energy. Renewable energy includes solar, hydro and wind energy. Wind energy is made when the wind moves the blades on a wind turbine. Energy Use Through 2050: Globally There is a painful little side note, though. ‘2050’ keeps on popping up as a far-away target that most of us will be happy to work towards, yet that is far away enough to be brushed off when deemed inconvenient. Because the main issue seems obvious: the world needs more energy. And for the time being, demand still far exceeds the sustainable supply, meaning that something - in this case, fossil fuels - is required to bridge the gap.   This leads to another undeniable conclusion, being that fossil fuels are likely to dominate the global energy market for decades to come - at least until we get to 2050. Producers and corporations are quick to reason it away by stating that massive investments have already been made. And because of the reliability of and heavy dependence upon this energy source, the market is hesitant to move away too much newer sources abruptly. Energy Use Through 2050: Time Is Running Out Yet the world needs more than ‘we will get rid of fossil fuels around 2050’. The cold hard truth is that the emission of energy-related greenhouse gasses will continue to rise over the next decades, up to a growth of some 14 percent by 2040. This is not helping us in limiting the warming of our planet to two degrees, the critical threshold as set by experts.   And yes, eventually those emissions will level off and drop - projections say this will be around 2035. Not only will this serve as the turning point of renewable energy overtaking fossil fuels, but it also marks the start of an era of higher energy efficiency.   The road ahead seems obvious. We will, eventually, be able to get rid of fossil fuels for our energy needs altogether. The figurative finger, however, must be kept on the pulse at all times: the growing world population and corresponding increasing demand for energy will have to be managed carefully; and balanced with technological development and a relentless focus on renewable energy to keep our focus clear: minimizing the effects of global warming. Recommended:  Five Minutes To Midnight: Climate Change Action Fighting The Clock We will have to keep on walking the talk, so to speak, if we are to cut out fossil fuels for good and discourage any new investments in this polluting industry. Sweden goes first, but other countries should be quick to jump the bandwagon and make similar pledges sooner rather than later. Before you go! Recommended:  Geothermal Power Accessible As Wind And Solar Energy: Climeon Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about sustainability? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage.'
Stay Updated on Environmental Improvements And Global Innovations