Energy

2 million human beings do not have access to electricity


Energy

Energy  is the greatest source of human innovation and is essential to all kinds of  activity. The demand for energy multiplied 13 times during the last century.  The two oil crises in 1973 and 1979 made the developed countries aware of their  dependence on energy. 

At a time when these countries are reviewing their energy policies to include  renewable energies, other countries are dreaming of having nuclear power stations.  Globally, there are enormous inequalities: two million human beings do not have access to electricity, and a person in the United States consumes 30 times more energy than someone in India.


Problems and challenges

Fossil fuels, which represent 80% of total energy consumption, contribute to  air, soil, sea and river pollution. Road transport is the main source of toxic gas emissions, resulting in local pollution and contributing on a global level  to the greenhouse effect. 

The main global challenge is how to manage energy. Industrialised countries  have used energy resources without counting the cost but we are now becoming  aware of the importance of managing energy better. One alternative is to use  advanced technology to reduce our energy consumption. 

Great hopes also rest on the development of non-polluting, renewable energy  (solar, wind, hydraulic and biofuels). As a complement to these technological  developments, encouraging people to be more economical with their daily energy consumption is a key factor in the success of an energy management action plan.


Project ideas

  • Carry out a landscape study of the local district or town in order to locate  the objects and places that show how important energy is to the town
  • Carry out a survey on energy use in the home over one day showing the regular  energy requirements, the type of energy used (fuel, gas, wood etc.), electrical  appliance consumption and the efforts to manage energy made within the family
  • Produce an inventory of different energy sources. Emphasise the high use  of fossil fuels, look at the problem of renewing these resources and consider  possible long-term solutions
  • Visit a renewable energy production site in order to become familiar with  these little-known energy principles

For further advice on carrying out a waste / packaging audit please click here.