The Real Reason Why the West is Pushing Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is not new!
Are solar and energies really new to humans? Not at all! Our great grandfather Adam, great grandmother Eve, and their early off springs used solar, wind, and hydro energy in their most basic forms. In fact they had no source of energy. They used solar for body warming in winter, and for drying fruits and vegetables. A wave of ‘modernization’ and convenience came when they learned to tame animals, and started the use of animal power. Humans quickly (but over centuries) learned use of various forms of what we now call alternate or renewable energy before mineral coal ‘bowled’ all of them out during the industrial revolution starting second half of the eighteenth century. Later, coal was supplemented, and in many applications, replaced by oil and natural gas. By middle of 20th century, fuel meant fossil fuel-coal, oil, and gas. Solar and other traditional forms of energy had become forgotten castaways.
The oil shocks
Then some events shook the world energy scene. USA sided with Israel in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Saudi Arabia that had become the biggest exporter of oil, together with other Arab countries, cut off supplies to USA and some other major world powers. The world was shaken. Oil prices rose, production suffered, factories closed down resulting in joblessness, shortages of fuel and other daily use items, and food. Streets of USA daily saw long queues of cars waiting to get a share of fuel. Upper speed limits were imposed on highways to ensure economy of fuel. Situation returned to normal only after USA made conciliatory moves and managed a dialog between Arabs on one side and Israel on the other. That was the first oil shock. Americans started thinking of ‘energy security’. For more on the history of Solar Energy : https://sinovoltaics.com/learning-center/basics/solar-energy-history-an-introduction/
The second oil shock came again after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Iran, another major exporter, cut off supplies. The US went through a similar phase again. “Something must be done!” And the US government started out on various measures: increasing storage, drilling indigenous wells, and developing alternate energy resources. At the same time the US took military and diplomatic steps to ensure an effective control over middle-east energy resources.
Fossil energy is limited
It was realized, however, that fossil fuel resources in the entire world were limited. At the current and increasing rate of consumption, they would not last long. The entire industrial infrastructure of the developed countries of the world was threatened. They started looking to develop other resources in earnest. Economy in energy consumption was also stressed. The concept of energy security was developed.
The Green shroud
Not all industrial countries were worried about energy blockades. What united them in the quest for alternate energies including the solar was the threat to our very existence on Mother Earth! That was the prospect of global warming with all its horrible consequences. So the concern for energy security was shrouded in the green shroud of environmental concerns.
Solar and other renewables are still a blessing
Whatever the real reasons, the change is welcome. Solar, wind and other alternate resources are more natural, and nature friendly.