Sure - love makes the world go ’round as they say, but really it’s energy. And with an increasing population as well as industrialization, the world undoubtedly needs more of it.
Clearly there is no one answer to the billion-dollar energy question. Encouragingly, we are exploring a multitude of new methods to produce and transport energy – and many of them cleaner and greener.
Some are high tech and futuristic, like the international consortium constructing the world’s largest nuclear fusion reactor in southern France at a cost of $10bn.
But other sources have been around for millennia, and just need to be better exploited.
The US is tapping into vast quantities of onshore natural gas reserves in shale formations through use of new technologies. The country now has an estimated 100 years worth of supply versus the traditional eight years.
And Brazil is making greater use of its fields of sugarcane. It already is supplying its growing domestic market with sugarcane ethanol for flex-fuel vehicles. New tax policies will make flex-fuel cars the standard versus gasoline-only cars.
The next step will be to use a by-product in the sugar production process called bagasse to generate electricity on a greater scale.
Even though the world’s largest hydrocarbon discoveries in recent years have been made off the coast of Brazil, it is still developing alternatives.
A good diversity of energy sources is key. Relying too heavily on one source - whatever it is - has its pitfalls.
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