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Author: Dr. Shiva Gorjian

Renewable and Sustainable Energy

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the global energy demand has reached levels that cannot be sustained in the future. This is because the developing countries have become more affluent, and the developed countries continue to increase their energy consumption. At the same time, fossil fuels, which are currently providing most of the total global energy supply, are limited and, also, their widespread use has significant adverse environmental consequences. The combustion of fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide, which is one of the causes of global warming as well as climate change. Climate change endangers human health affecting all sectors of society, both domestically and globally. Also, the environmental consequences of climate change, both those already observed and those that are anticipated, such as sea-level rise, changes in precipitation resulting in flooding and drought, heat waves, more intense hurricanes and storms, and degraded air quality, will all affect the environment both directly and indirectly. 

At present, the relationship between the global destructive environmental impacts and sustainable development has become a primary concern.

Fossil fuel resources are non-renewable, and their usage has led to the global warming due to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Therefore, the limited supply of the fossil fuels and their effects on the environment indicate that the only long-term solution to this issue is a significant increase in the use of alternative energy sources. Renewable energy sources (RES) are environmentally friendly, locally and freely available, and their utilization offers an alternative way to decrease the dependence on the fossil fuels. Companies and nations responsible for GHG emissions are thus acquiring significant potential liabilities. If litigation becomes widespread, renewable energy technologies (RETs) potentially offer emitters reduced responsibility for climate change. The RETs offer the promise of clean, abundant energy gathered from self-renewing resources. Nowadays, the technologies based on the RES such as wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal has become more cost-effective in an increasing number of markets, and are making significant steps to broader commercialization.