Shifting From Mean To Green

Is the world ready for the use of geothermal energy over the traditional fuel standards such as gas, coal and oil?

In countries that are part of what is known as the Ring of Fire, there is an abundance of geothermal energy potential. The Philippines is one such country. Its numerous volcanoes, both active and inactive, are sources of massive geothermal energy.

It's no wonder, then, that among the available options for Renewable Energy in the Philippines, the exploration and utilization of geothermal energy is seen as highly important by the Department of Energy, to the point that geothermal service contractors are being offered incentives to actualize geothermal potentials.

This is all well and good for furthering the Philippines socio-economic development. Energy has always been a cornerstone of economic progress in modern times. When a rich resource such as geothermal energy has been tapped, sustainable development is sure to follow. That's because geothermal energy is clean and green and highly abundant in the Philippines.

Incidentally, the Philippines is 2nd to the United States in terms of geothermal power production, even as not yet all of the "hot spots" in the Philippines have been tapped for the harnessing of geothermal energy. While geothermal plants such as the  Maibarara Geothermal Power Project, the Tiwi and Mak-Ban Geothermal Power Plants are already producing geothermal energy, the possibility of geothermal exploration in Bulusan, Sorsogon, in the Southern Bicol Region, is also aligned with the Phiippine government's support for renewable energy (note: pdf, click link to download).

The Southern Bicol Geothermal Project (note: pdf, click link to download) - informally known by some as Bulusan Geothermal - is among the geothermal exploration projects being eyed as one of the means to continue supporting the administration's thrust towards the widespread use and acceptability of renewable energy.

There has never been a better time to look at options, and choose for ourselves which direction to take based on the massive information, the facts and figures, that are out there.

Global warming and climate change are realities, not just the products of hyperactive imaginations. There is truly a pressing need to find alternative, efficient, clean, and sustainable sources of energy.

It's fortunate that much of the world is gradually shifting from mean to green. The use of fossil fuels is becoming a tired, old habit, one that although admittedly hard to break, still strongly needs to be broken.

Fossil fuels mostly come decayed matter, that which used to be plant and animal life that thrived in the Carboniferous Period. The formation of fossil fuels - coal, oil and natural gas - happened even before the time of the dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs have been extinct for a thousands of years. The same with the numerous plants and animal life that all combined to form peat, the base from which fossil fuels were formed. 

Unless scientific technology finds a way in the present, to replicate the exact situation and environment that made possible the formation of such sources of energy, there is no possible way for fossil fuels to be renewed.

Like dinosaurs, fossil fuels will become extinct.

And the awareness of people all over the world grows about this situation, so does the call for a timely shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy - energy that is clean and green.

A shift from fossil fuel usage would largely begin with the electricity sector. The projected worldwide development of 5,300 gigawatts of generating capacity by 2020 (with over half of it generated by wind) is estimated to be more than enough to replace all the coal and oil currently being used for electricity generation. 

An additional 1,500 gigawatts of thermal heating capacity by 2020 (with two thirds coming from rooftop solar water and space heaters) will also effectively lessen the use of both oil and gas for heating systems.

In the transport sector, fossil fuel usage is projected to drop by around 70 percent if people used electric or highly efficient plug-in hybrid cars. Electric trains, which are much more efficient than diesel-powered ones, would also be utilized. Many buildings will be heated, cooled, and illuminated entirely with carbon-free renewable electricity.

Energy profiles are shaped by the indigenous and native endowment of renewable energy sources. Some countries, such as the United States, China, and Turkey, will likely rely on wind, solar, and geothermal power. However, wind (both onshore and offshore), would likely be the leading energy source in each of these countries.

Other countries, including Spain, India, Mexico, Egypt, and Algeria, are projected to primarily use solar thermal power plants and solar PV (photovoltaic) cells. 

Still others are being seen to mostly eventually rely on hydro or tidal energy, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Norway, and Nepal. 

For Iceland, Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines, geothermals will likely be the leading energy source. 

The 20th century is a testament to the world energy economy’s globalization as nations depended heavily on specific countries, particularly those in the Middle East, for oil. 

The way things are going, it's not too far-fetched to say that the next century will see the localization of the world energy economy as nations utilize their native sources of renewable energy. 

For example, in developing countries in Asia such as the Philippines and Indonesia, where there is an abundant renewable supply of geothermal energy, things are starting to look brighter for their economies. At the same time, their environment stands to benefit hugely when clean energy begins to set the standard.

This shift is now picking up its own momentum. With the oil wells running dry and coal yielding less, there is great optimism that renewable energy sources that are clean and sustainable will soon be the norm, rather than the exception.