Alternative Energy in the supply and demand world of oil
In the last 75 years we have experienced the greatest shift in the source of energy ever known, comparable perhaps only to the discovery of fire. In the first half of the twentieth century, coal maintained its preeminent position as the major fuel source for the industrialized world. The discovery of large amounts of oil in the Soviet Union, the United States, and above all, the Middle East, along with the comparative ease of oil extraction, its extraordinary range of uses, and its easy transportation, led to profound change in fuel sources. During the 1960s oil replaced coal as the primary energy source for the industrialized world. This shift accelerated industrial development worldwide, thus further increasing the demand for oil. (Yet, despite the magnitude of the increase in demand for oil, which rose from 3 million barrels a day in 1925 to 60 million in 1977, nearly half of the world’s energy consumption is derived from wood, peat, and dung, the so-called noncommercial fuels.
Competition for available supply is likely to continue to be intense and war over access to vitally needed supplies is a continued problem. There remains an adequate supply of alternative fuel sources in the world and the access to the worlds oil supplies will begin to weigh less of a concern as new energy sources become more popular. Nuclear energy remains a very important alternative as well as geothermal energy found in the earth and ocean sources. Because the United States remains to be a large consumer of energy in the form of electricity we will continue to move towards nuclear and geothermal energy generation plants as the demand increases.