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What Energy Shortage?

We humans are not facing a shortage of energy. We are facing a technical challenge in capturing it and delivering it to consumers; and one of the most efficient ways to meet that challenge is by investing in better ways to store it.

MARTIGNY, SWITZERLAND – If we were able to capture and use the energy from just two minutes of sunlight falling on the earth, it would be enough to fuel our cars, light and heat our buildings, and provide for all of our other electricity needs for an entire year. Simply put, we humans are not facing a shortage of energy. We are facing a technical challenge in capturing it and delivering it to consumers; and one of the most efficient ways to meet that challenge is to invest in better ways to store it.

Many of the world’s problems today can be traced to energy use, from conflicts over oil supplies and concerns about greenhouse-gas emissions to lost productivity and output stemming from shortages and blackouts. In many of the poorest parts of the world, the lack of energy stifles economic development. Globally, more than 1.3 billion people have no access to electricity; and some 2.6 billion have no access to modern cooking facilities. More than 95% of these people are in Sub-Saharan Africa or developing Asia, and 84% live in rural areas.

During the run-up to the recent presidential election in Nigeria, for example, a woman was asked what she wanted the candidates to deliver. She replied with a one-word answer: “Light.” Electricity, a basic commodity, would allow her to continue to work and her children to study.

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