How can we improve the sustainability of energy use in the future?

Fuel switching to use less-polluting fuels (e.g. nuclear) is an option, as is switching to renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power, whose environmental impacts are usually less severe than those of fossil or nuclear sources.

Renewable energy sources are generally sustainable in the sense that they cannot ‘run out’; however they need wise management because although the environmental and social impacts of renewable source of energy are generally more benign than those of fossil or nuclear fuels, large areas of land are often required for renewables and this can lead to significant visual impacts, as in the case of wind turbines

The monetary costs of many renewable sources are at present considerably higher than those of conventional fuels until this imbalance is recued, either by reducing the costs of renewables or through increases in the costs of conventional sources, renewables may be unable to succeed in capturing a substantial fraction of the world market.

At the demand-side of the energy chain, we could develop options to employ the energy we have more efficiently.

Having considered energy - in particular the elements of fire (fossil guels, nuclear, bioenergy) and air (wind) - let us turn now to another element that is essential to life and whose supply is as problematic as that of energy, if not more so...

Above text sourced from OpenLearn under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence
http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=397916&section=6


Above image sourced from Flickr (Author: Michael Scott) under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License
http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeljscott/3094068273/