Frank ReynoldsMay 8, 20197390
A solar-powered renewable future
Imagine a world where petroleum is not the dominant source of energy. if you think about it we are a lot closer to that possibility then we were just a few years ago.
Over the next two decades, the burning of oil and gas is forecast to peak and the use of renewable energy to accelerate, so much so that by 2050, renewable energy could supply half of the world's energy requirements. The solar community has been predicting possibilities of this nature for some time I but now they are also coming from the oil industry.
There is no doubt that the world will undergo a major position in energy sources and infrastructure systems over the next few decades. Oil industry analysts expect increased price pressure on petroleum as demand outstrips supply. The global distribution of fossil fuels creates strategic ramifications for the security of energy supply. Without a secure and affordable energy supply, cities become vulnerable to economic, environmental and societal decay.
An affordable energy supply is now recognized as one that neither compromises the ability to pay for energy nor jeopardizes the ecosystems on which humans depend. Security of energy supply is crucial to maintaining independence; nations that depend heavily on imported energy sources from overseas risk security of supply.
As the era of cheap oil draws to a close, other energy options must be developed to power buildings as well as transportation, agriculture, and industry. These options must be more sustainable and have a minimum ecological impact. It may come as a surprise to many architects and their clients, but every building they design that relies on fossil fuel may become obsolete within its lifetime.
Buildings and their processes account for roughly one half of all energy consumption. When the energy required to mine, produce, deliver and assemble materials for the construction of buildings is included, the total impact far surpasses that amount.
For developed countries to continue to enjoy the comforts that are taken for granted, and for the developing world to ever hope to attain
them, sustainability must become the cornerstone of our design philosophy.
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