The energy sources that we use today are very varied and, although at first glance it may seem that renewable energies occupy an important position, the reality is that the data makes it clear that there is still a lot to do if we want to have a green future and environmentally friendly.
What is considered a source of energy and what types exist
It is called an energy source to any method that human beings have to obtain the energy that they are going to use to carry out different jobs. That is to say, the energy sources would be the sources that the energy has. In this way, the electrical energy that comes from a solar panel will have sunlight as its source of energy, the energy obtained from burning natural gas, the source of energy will come from natural gas itself, and so on with each and every one. of existing energy sources.
Currently, energy sources are divided into two main types, renewable energies and non-renewable energies , also sometimes called fossil fuels. In the case of renewable energies, they include all those that, when exploited, do not degrade the environment, at least not at the level of the others and if it is done really well it does not degrade, and they do not consume themselves ( such as solar, wind or hydraulic). In contrast, fossil fuels that are non-renewable They are those that come from fuels that have their origin in the fossilization of organic matter millions of years ago and that results in fuels that can be burned to transform them into useful energy for humans (mainly coal, oil and natural gas).
Likewise, it would also be worth mentioning other types of energy that, without being renewable, it would not be accurate to classify them as fossils either. This type of energy would correspond to nuclear energy , obtained from uranium and plutonium, as well as biofuels , which can include from biogas to traditional wood or firewood.
It must be borne in mind that the consumption of one or other energy sources is not the same in every part of the planet . In fact, we can find countries with a strong commitment to renewable energies and, others, that remain anchored in the consumption of fossil and non-renewable energies. However, the impact that energy consumption has on the planet and the environment knows no borders. In this way, energy consumption can be considered globally, which would leave us with the following figures taking as a reference world energy consumption in 2014 :
- Oil: 32.89%
- Coal: 29.16%
- Natural gas: 23.40%
- Hydroelectric: 6.78%
- Nuclear energy : 4.43%
- Wind: 1.45%
- Solar energy: 0.43%
- Biofuels or biofuels: 0.57%
- Rest of energy sources of minority use: 0.89%
As you can see, when asked what are the most widely used energy sources in the world , the first three positions are occupied by the three quintessential fossil fuels: oil, coal and natural gas . It is necessary to reach fourth place to find the first source of renewable energy, hydroelectric , which appears on the list with a timid 6.78% of the total energy consumed in the world, well below the figures they represent any of the fossil energies that occupy the header.
Following the aforementioned data, we find that fossil energy as a whole represents a large figure of 85.5% , while the sum of renewable energies as a whole represents a figure of 10.1% , barely exceeding ten of the percentage. Likewise, other energies that are neither fossil nor renewable, such as nuclear energy , complete the rest of the energy consumed worldwide.
However, although these figures seem discouraging, it is true that we must bear in mind that we are in the midst of an energy transition . In other words, in a process of substituting fossil fuels for renewable energies . In fact, in some countries such as China, they are carrying out an important decarbonization program that, if successful, will see how, in the coming years, it will become the first power based on renewable energies. Perhaps China can serve as an example and, in the coming years, we will see how the set of renewable energies will gain ground to the sum of fossil fuels and we can change the percentages for more positive ones.