According to the International Energy Agency, the world’s energy demands could increase by 50% by 2030. With the distressing decline of natural gas and oil sources, the world has long known and understood for the past decade the impending potential for a global energy crisis. James Greenberger in The Real Energy Crisis argues that today the urgency to solve the energy crisis has slowed in momentum and has been replaced with complacency and even optimism as politicians and experts suggest that energy independence is within our reach.
Greenberg argues that this complacency has manifested from innovations oil digging technology, with the production of new technologies including hydraulic fracturing – better known as “fracking” – and horizontal drilling, to obtain new sources of petrolium. The method of fracking involves the drilling deep into rock and then pumping large quantities of water into the hole which would then fracture the surrounding sediment. The fissures which develop from the fracking then allow the natural gases trapped within the rock to escape through hole for collection.
The real energy crisis suggested by Greenberg however “is neither a gelogic crisis nor a strategic crisis. The real energy crisis is a slow growth crisis’. That is, even though technology has provided a means to recover quantities of oil resources the cost of doing so is staggering and only exacerbates the already problematically high prices for oil, hence the problem becomes cyclical. Furthermore, these methods are only a temporary fix for energy dependancy in the U.S. as these resources are finite in themselves. The solution to all this, according to Greenberg, is the same solution settled on five years ago, that is through substituting petroleum in the transportation sector with different fuels and battery technology. Ultimately however it must be understood that the nature of the energy crisis is not just an issue of finding new substitutions for energy but also an economic one due to the high cost for implementing and innovating new technologies.
Greenberger J., The Real Energy Crisis, 2012, viewed June 29th 2013, http://theenergycollective.com/jim-greenberger/141741/real-energy-crisis