Right now, we could state without hesitation that our entire modern civilization is based on oil, the amount of extracted oil or the ability to buy it and the state of dependency for oil of a country dictating its economical status for the most part. Since the use of oil has been in a constant, spectacular growth over the last few decades, a grim assumption quickly caught shape in the eyes of the world: the total depletion of oil and a sudden crash of modern civilization as we know it. Fortunately, although a total depletion of oil in the next few centuries sounds a valid possibility, bright minds all around the world are working on finding alternative energy sources that could replace oil entirely in the future.
Scientists approximate that almost 90% of the total oil sources on Earth have been discovered and are already being sucked dry, hence the speed at which we need to find a solution for alternative energy. There are several possibilities in this regard, some alternative energy sources being more viable than others, yet all need to be taken into consideration: alternative solar energy, wind power, geothermal energy and tidal energy seem to be the most serious candidates towards being the alternative energy source of the future.
Solar energy in particular, seems to be the most serious pretender for the tag of alternative energy source of the future. The energy received by Earth from solar rays is roughly 35,000 times the total energy that our civilization uses today, this number alone giving hope for a viable alternative energy option. Of course, not all of this energy will be used, since some of it is absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere whereas for another large part, we still lack the technology (or a technological prospect) to capturing it.
At the moment, out of the total amount of energy that we use, only 6-7% is generated by alternative energy sources such as windmills, hydro power plants, solar panels, geothermal energy systems and other less significant sources. Although this number might seem small at first, it’s still encouraging to some degree, since it’s slowly but constantly rising. The global opinion looks towards alternative energy sources with great interest and the mammoth power companies give the subject proper interest too. At this rate, some scientists believe that unleashing the power of alternative energy sources is the next major breakthrough of civilization.