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Discuss About The Primary Determinant Of The Global Economy?

Energy is currently the primary determinant of the global economy for both rural and urban populations. Energy is used in driving transport machines, production and manufacturing industries, domestic use such as cooking, heating, etc., urban lighting, and infrastructural development among other essential functions. The history of how energy production has evolved over the years with fossil fuel still remaining the primary producer of the global energy.  Curry and Pragasen (2012) denote that the process of economic growth, as well as trends and demands for energy consumption in the society can be traced in large part to a substitution of energy for muscles in performing various activities in the domestic tasks as well as agricultural and industrial sectors. The same study denotes that even most of the pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides that are successfully used in improved agriculture in the industrialized states are derived from fossil fuel energy sources.

For several decades in the energy evolution period, Ma, Xu, and Liang (2017) point out that there has been an increase in the demand for energy in the rural, urban, and global requirement as a result of increase in population, technological advancements in transport, agricultural, and manufacturing industries among other vital sectors.  Adams and Bell (2015) denote that the urban areas have experienced a drastic industrial expansion and population growth, factors that have lead to the increase in the energy consumption, its demand, as well as the release of related waste materials. With the global urban population density slightly above 3.5 billion, it is a clear indication that there is a need for alternative energy that is sustainable and affordable to all. On the other hand, the increase in the global energy consumption has come hand in hand with complex challenges to the environment, an aspect that leads to the speculation that the condition may be worse in case drastic measures are not adopted to resolve the crisis in the future. This is necessary as the availability and easy access of energy is an essential factor that primarily determines the quality of life in the current human settlements.

The primary objective of this paper is to evaluate, examine, and present the general concept of the global energy demand affecting both rural and urban population in developed and developing countries. The paper gives a brief history of the energy production, trend and demands of the energy the society, as well as a speculation of the future challenges and possible changes that are likely to be adopted in dealing with the energy crisis and the challenges are causes to the environment. The paper hence evaluates on the future of global energy, its evolution with the technological innovations and urban changing demands, as well as challenges that are faced by the rural and urban population when it comes to the maintenance of a constant energy supply.

In their study on the history of energy implementation, Curry and Pragasen (2012) point out that before the industrial revolution, human productivity heavily depended on their labor as well as the amount of work that could be obtained from using domestic animals. However, the study also denotes that the industrial revolution led to the implementation of the rapid application of various energy powered devices that lead to the increase in human productivity. During the decades, industrial revolution resulted in the continued trend all across most of the century resulting in great records of human productivity.  On the other hand, Adams and Bell (2015) points out that there are developing countries that have not adopted a complete adoption and transition in both industrial and agricultural industrial revolution still heavily depends on non-commercial energy sources. The same study denotes that more than 85% of the rural supply of energy originates from the non-commercial energy sources. However, very little studies have documented the consumption pattern of rural energy in different facets such as lighting, heating, cooking, transport, and agriculture among other essential use energy aspects. As a result, more studies are required on the bid of shading more light on the energy-use patterns to effectively assess the energy requirements in the rural settlements.

Energy sustainability factors

The global crisis on energy supply coupled with threats from environmental sustainability issues such as global warming, climate change, and depletion of natural resources has to lead to an increase in demand for energy. In a systematic review, Ma, Xu, and Liang (2017) point out that the crisis has led to the increase in demand for a responsible consumption for both the developing and the developed countries. The same study denotes that the urban energy transmissions from renewable power to fossil fuel are not sufficient for the global energy demand that is expected to rise by 65% to 80%. It, therefore, means that ensuring a healthy, viable, and environmentally sound future, the world requires a new industrial revolution where revolution is fueled by accessible, affordable, and sustainable energy resources.

In the bid of reducing environmental impacts resource inputs, some developing and developed are already successfully managing to decouple economic growth from the high demand energy consumption. Chen et al. (2016) point out that this has been achieved by closing the production in the energy loop such as the recapture of released heat for generating power. Decarbonization of energy sources, as well as the desire of achieving effective energy conservation and efficiency, is hence considered essential factors to this revolution process.  Even though fossil fuel-based energy generation still plays a primary role in cities, ///// points out that there is an increase in the substantial share of sustainable energy as the best choice of progressing in achieving efficient energy production and consumption. For instance, the share of fossil fuels in cities remains substantial even though they tend to employ co-generation as well as distinct heating that adopt high energy efficiency.

Over the past 20 years, Pallav, and Sashaank (2013) point out that the urban areas have experienced a drastic expansion and growth, factors that have lead to the increase in the energy consumption. The same study denotes that currently, the urban population density has grown to a capacity of 3.5 billion that is approximated to be half of the global population with a projected increase of over 5 billion in the urban population by 2050 (Figure 1). Most of the developing countries are currently undergoing rapid changes from the traditionally rural to urban-based economies as a result of the transformation they experience due to their urbanizing populations. In a systematic study, Han and Baek (2017) denote that even though the urbanization extent in the developing countries differ in space and magnitude, the biggest challenge is stabilizing a growing hunger for the constant bridge of access to secure energy supplies.  Other aspects include minimizing the degradation of the environment, enhancement of human health and livelihood, empowerment and equity, as well as crafting new directions of technological development.

Figure 1: The projected increase in global population a prediction of increase in demand (Pallav, and Sashaank 2013)

According to Adams and Bell (2015), the implementation of renewable energy strategies in both rural, urban, and city environments is rapidly becoming energetically imperative in the global atmosphere. In other words, making the transition involves making sure it is cost effective beneficial, and sustainable for development and not only switching the energy source. On the other hand, the rural economy in subsistence as the rural industrial structure is often more labor intensive than energy intensive. In such case, Curry and Pragasen (2012) denote that is it is the domestic use accounting for the greatest share of primary consumption of energy.

History of energy implementation

After the exploration of the global population and commercial energy progress, Park (2012) denotes that the world is currently facing an urgent energy call challenge. There are more concerns on how to balance the global energy crisis and sustainability requirements to ensure an affordable, secure, and sustainable with the pressing climate change issues. Droege (2008) denotes that simply burning oil, coal, and gas is no longer a solution to the global need for energy. With countries such as the UK and Japan becoming even more reliant on imported fossil fuels as well as a surge in the rural and urban energy demand from developing economies, there is a need of response with a new wave of energy generation. It should be able to help in ensuring secure energy use without compromising the environment in any manner.

Figure 2: Projected increase in energy demand

In a systematic study, Chu and Majumdar (2012) assert that there is a clear sign in the climate indicators that the planet is as hot as never before with an increasing temperature rate of alarming speed within the past 1300 years. As sea levels rise, ice sheets are losing between 25 to 55 cubic miles of mass annually while the number of extreme weather incidents in on the rise due to excessive emission of carbon dioxide. As a result, governments and federal states around the globe, as well as environmentalists, are advocating for the need of prioritizing on low carbon generation in the global energy mix as pointed out by Lund (2012). For instance, the European Commission published a ‘20 20’ by 2020 package in 2008 with the aim of setting out aggressive targets of cutting the EU’s greenhouse gas release by 20% as at 2020. It is also aimed at increasing the percentage of the final consumption of energy from the available renewable energy to 20%. These targets were put in place as a positive step towards achieving an industry with strong low carbon energy with the aim of a reduction in the negative impact energy creates to the environment.

With the implementation of such strategies, there will be a slowdown in the increase of greenhouse gas emission from energy use. It is hence a responsibility of every government to ensure that they adopt such policies for every energy consuming industry within their jurisdiction even though the strategy is not fast enough to timely meet the safe carbon goals. Purohit, Pallav, and Sashaank (2013) also point out that the primary solution to energy related complications in the environment is achieving low carbon energy by adopting technologies such as wind energy and tidal power. In the end, there is a high chance of turning around the current and any possible future energy crisis and the pressure on the environment that is currently affecting the planet. Such alternative energy sources are predictable as their use can be safe, reliable, and infinite.

In most developing countries, most of the economic conditions are such that majority of the global population depends primarily on non-commercial fuels since they are poor as pointed out by Droege (2008). The financial challenges of people below the poverty line force them to use cow-dung cake and fuel wood which are the cheapest and most easily available sources of fuel they can access. In the process, excessive exploitation of forests and fertilizers have to lead to the depletion of these natural resources resulting in environmental degradation that results in the reduction in soil productivity.

In support of this assertion, Chu and Arun (2012) denote that oil importing countries, the oil-based commercial fuels cannot easily be accessed by both low- and middle-income families. In the urban sectors, the excessive use of energy wastes such as greenhouse gases produced by different industries is blamed as the primary causes of global warming and climate change, an aspect that has become a global crisis as pointed out by Curry and Pragasen (2012). Having a safe and healthy environment in the future hence requires the global stakeholders to recommend strategies that can be adopted to ensure sustainability of energy is restored in addition to controlling other energy related factors such as global warming, pollution, conservation of natural resources, and sustained peak oil production.

Conclusion

With the increase in the global population, there is a resulting increase in the energy demand for both rural and urban consumption across the globe. At the same time, energy consumption has proven to be environmentally destructive due to increased global temperatures resulting from excessive emission of greenhouse gases. Adopting solution strategies hence requires the government to ensure legislative moves that will ensure every consumer; especially the urban industries adopt measures that can limit the production of the greenhouse gases as possible.

References

Adams, C., & Bell, S. (2015). Local energy generation projects: assessing equity and risks. Local Environment, 20(12), 1473-1488. doi:10.1080/13549839.2014.909797

Chen, P., Chen, S., Hsu, C., & Chen, C. (2016). Modeling the global relationships among economic growth, energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 65420-431. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2016.06.074

Chu, S, & Arun M (2012). Opportunities and challenges for a sustainable energy future. Nature, 488, (August), pp. 294-303. Available from https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v488/n7411/full/nature11475.html.

Chu, S., & Majumdar, A. (2012). Opportunities and challenges for a sustainable energy future. Nature, 488(7411), 294-303. doi:10.1038/nature11475

Curry, N & Pragasen, P. (2012). Biogas prediction and design of a food waste to energy system for the urban environment. Renewable Energy, vol. 41 (May), pp. 200-209.

Droege, P. (2008). Urban Energy Transition: From Fossil Fuels to Renewable Power. Oxford: Elsevier Ltd.

Global Energy Consumption Industry Profile. (2017). Energy Consumption Industry Profile: Global, 1-40.

Han, D., & Baek, S. (2017). Status of renewable capacity for electricity generation and future prospects in Korea: Global trends and domestic strategies. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 761524-1533. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2016.11.193

Lund, P. (2012). Large-scale urban renewable electricity schemes—Integration and interfacing aspects. Energy Conversion and Management, vol. 63 (November), pp. 162–172.

Ma, H., Xu, S., & Liang, Y. (2017). Global optimization of fuel consumption in J2 rendezvous using interval analysis. Advances In Space Research, 59(6), 1577-1598. doi:10.1016/j.asr.2016.12.032

Park, J. J. (2012). Fostering community energy and equal opportunities between communities. Local Environment, 17(4), 387-408. doi:10.1080/13549839.2012.678321

Purohit, I., Pallav P., & Sashaank, S. (2013). Evaluating the potential of concentrating solar power generation in North-western India. Energy Policy, vol. 62, pp. 157-175.

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