"Crisis" seems to be the buzzword of the 21st century. After the water and food crisis, it is the time of financial and energy crisis. The industrial revolution of the 18th century, offered mankind the luxuries that were never experienced before. Since then, we have been busy indulging in the comfort that came with the advent of technology. We barely have time to notice the rapidly depleting energy resources. The more we choose to ignore this issue, it becomes more difficult to solve it. The only way to combat this problem is by conservation of energy. However, this may not be as easy as it sounds. There are several problems that need to be addressed before this undertaking such steps.
The uncontrolled and unreasonable use of energy resources in the past few decades has led to the depletion of conventional type of resources. Although, measures are taken at the government levels to control the energy consumption, these attempts only meet with little success. Public awareness is the only way to successfully deal with this problem.
Wastage of Energy
It is the biggest culprit of energy crisis. Unnecessary illumination, running the appliances even when no one is using them, using two or more devices for achieving the same purpose, etc., can all lead to wastage of valuable energy. Self discipline is the only way to resolve this issue.
Unmindful Use of Resources
This is different from wasting energy, as it yields the same result. This includes choosing the wrong appliances that consume more electricity, or buying luxury cars that are extremely inefficient regarding fuel consumption. Choosing your options wisely can solve this problem. Public awareness can be generated, in order to educate people regarding the intelligent usage of energy.
None of the machines can give you 100% efficiency. There is always some energy loss, which reduces the efficiency of the machines. Although, there is no feasible solution to this problem, we can certainly minimize this loss so that we get optimum efficiency.
Energy Conservation and Rebound Effect
The obvious advantage of energy conservation is that, we can slow down the depletion of the energy resources so that we have more of it left for future use. As mentioned above, efficient and wise use of energy can alleviate the problem of its crisis. However, there is an argument against this usage, which says that efficient use of energy will lead to fall in its demand, which in turn will lead to decline in its cost of. Lower prices are likely to encourage the consumption of energy, making the whole effort worthless. This is called the "rebound effect", which defeats the whole purpose of conservation. However, economists believe that the magnitude of this effect is smaller, as compared to the total energy gain by implementing energy efficiency schemes.
Tips for Conservation
- Always switch off appliances when you're not using them.
- Make sure that your house is properly insulated to keep heat loss to a bare minimum.
- Efficient use of energy is achieved by running appliances to their maximum capacity. Hence, stock the refrigerator with food, fill the dishwasher with plates, and don't run the washing machine unless it is completely filled with clothes.
- Air conditioning units should be set in shade so that they consume less power.
- Work manually wherever possible.
- Limit your use of automobiles. Opt for public transport if possible.
- Decrease reliance on conventional resources, and explore the unconventional ones like solar energy, tidal energy, wind energy, etc.
Problems of energy conservation can be solved only with collective efforts at domestic, as well as industrial level. Hence, every person should consider it to be his/her own responsibility for judicious use of energy, so as to save it for the future.