By Sunny Chuba Nwachukwu
Dating back in history, from the stone-age to the present jet-age or infotech-age, humanity has passed through various stages in the development of energy sources, utilisation, impacts and challenges. Energy, which is the ability to do work, over many centuries has witnessed dynamic changes, globally. The changes are influenced by factors that range from Technology, Economics, Environmental, Policies in governance; all of which affect humanity and living organisms in general. Energy is stored either in natural resources (Biomass, Fossils, Water, Sun, Wind, etcetera); or can be sourced through scientific means from its potential origin.
Energy, however, has its phenomenal conservative law which states that, “it can neither be created nor destroyed, but can only be transformed from one form to another form” (as we have, for instance, from potential energy to kinetic energy, or mechanical energy). Energy is fuel for consumption; and its consumption drives prosperity and sustainability in economic engagements. In the process of its consumption and utilisation, it is transformed into various kinds as are needed or as occasion demands; in such forms as sound, heat, light, electrical, collision, etcetera.
From the days of early man, history has it that light and heat energies were respectively sourced from sparking stones to light the biomass/firewood for bright light, heating and cooking. During the industrial revolution, coals mined amongst other fossil fuels, first took the center stage in many countries. That was before the other forms of fossil fuels (petroleum/hydrocarbon compounds known as crude oil and natural gas) were found in commercial quantities in so many oil producing nations. These economic activities that run in trillions of dollars for over several decades, resulted in environmental impact from exploration, mining, production, storage, haulage/transportation and utilisation of fossil fuels, which adversely affected the natural habitat for flora and fauna.
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Devastations of diverse forms occurred in the processes at every stage of the provision through poor handling, mismanagement or even by accident. This outcome of the unexpected challenges in the localities of business activities, ranging from spillage, gas flaring, sooth/smoke covering the entire atmosphere; emissions of carbon dioxide (the greenhouse gas, GHG), to atmospheric and other environmental pollutions (air, water and soil); which resulted in “global warming” due to the depletion of the ozone layer, which is now presently known as the Climate Change and the global climate crisis the entire world is now fighting. The combat is through feasible solutions for alternative, cleaner energy sources that could be better and sustainably managed without affecting the future in terms of human health, economic activities, or any other form of environmental irresponsibility.
Climate change has led to floods, droughts, desert encroachment, melting of ice in the Arctic regions of the North pole, and other forms of extreme weather conditions, associated with global warming! Certain forms of health challenges and food insecurity in the recent past, have been attributed to the changes in weather. The society generally becomes vulnerable and exposed to unknown dangers and uncertainties that might occur without prior notice.
These battles of life for extermination of the unwanted environmental development, to restore back the biosphere as it were originally, have actually resulted in the world’s multilateral ongoing conferences, workshops, seminars and treaties, which were eventually signed by a comity of nations as policies for global energy solutions management.
This, of course, centres on robust green solutions being sought through scientific research and development (R&D), towards ameliorating the threatened earth space. These measures are inclusive of tree planting, sustainable ways of doing things in various spheres of life (involving economic, social and environmental dimensions – that is, towards achieving the environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals).
This has brought up the current position and situation on energy solutions management, through the present energy transition from fossil fuels (with its now declining demands) to the cheaper, cleaner, sustainably available natural ‘renewable energies’ sourced from wind, water and the sun.
Renewable energies are reusables, they are recyclables, they are sustainable and don’t pollute nor leave any residual effect on the environment. They are sourced from nature and they retain green effects (no adverse impact) at all times, without devastation to the environmental status quo. In other words, renewable energies conform to sustainability in sourcing and utilisation at all times.
This is the major reason for the present global search for a robust energy solutions management through energy transition, from the outgoing fossil fuels (coal, crude oil and natural gas) that emit carbon dioxide that causes global warming, to the trending renewable energies. It is for the world to be preserved for future generations.
Sunny Nwachukwu, PhD, a pure and applied chemist with an MBA in management, is an Onitsha based industrialist, a fellow of ICCON, and vice president, finance, Onitsha Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached on +234 803 318 2105 (text only) or email@example.com
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