For more than a century fossil fuels have provided most of the energy needed to drive our cars, run our businesses and keep our homes lit. Oil, coal, and natural gas still provide around 80 percent our energy requirements.
We’re paying the price. The environmental and human defilement of using fossil fuels to generate energy has been immense. Here are some facts about fossil fuels, how they affect our wallets and why we need to shift towards a clean-energy future.
1. What Are Fossil Fuels?
It took millennia for decomposing plants and other organisms to be buried under layers of sediment and rocks. These carbon-rich deposits are now known as fossil fuels. These nonrenewable fuels include coal, oil and natural gas. They provide around 80 percent the world’s energy. They supply electricity, heat and transportation.
Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are released when fossil fuels burn. These gases trap heat in the atmosphere and make them primary contributors to global heating and climate change.
MAJOR TYPES OF FOSSIL FUELS:
Coal: Coal, a hard, carbon-heavy, solid rock, is available in four main types, which are distinguished largely by their carbon content: lignite (sub-bituminous), bituminous (bituminous), and anthracite. Nearly all the coal used in the United States sub-bituminous. These types of coal are mid-range in terms of their carbon content and the amount of heat energy they can generate. All coal is dirty, regardless of its variety. It’s also the most intensive fossil fuel that we can burn.
Oil: Crude oil (or petroleum) is a liquid fossil fuel that is mostly made up of hydrocarbons (hydrogen or carbon compounds). This Oil can be found in underground reservoirs, in cracks, crevices and pores in sedimentary rocks, or in Tar sands close to the earth’s surface. Oil is extracted and transported to refineries by supertanker or train, truck, or pipeline and transformed into fuels like gasoline, propane and kerosene and jet fuel, as well as other products such as paint and plastics.
Natural Gas: Natural gas consists mainly of methane. It can be classified as either conventional or unusual depending on its location underground. Natural gas can be found in porous, permeable rocks or mixed with oil reservoirs. It can be accessed by standard drilling. Unconventional gas is any type of gas that is too expensive or difficult to extract by regular drilling. It requires a special stimulation technique such as fracking.
2. Reducing Your Reliance On Fossil Fuels
Only by reducing our dependency on fossil fuels can we mitigate the huge environmental and health problems. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to trim down your reliance on fossil fuels.
Use LED light bulbs: They are more efficient and last longer. According to the US Department of Energy, LED bulbs use 75% less energy and last for years.
Turn off the lights: If you are leaving a room for longer than 15 minutes, turn off the lights. This saves electricity, which reduces the need for energy utilities.
Use appliances that have the ENERGY STAR label: This label is reserved for products that are highly-efficient. You can find the annual savings calculation on refrigerators, air conditioners and heaters as well as just about every other appliance in your home.
Reduce waste: Many cities including Ohio offer recycling programs that require residents to separate plastic, paper, and aluminium from one another.
3. Creating A Clean Energy Future
We are not bound to a future based on fossil fuels. Over the last decade, we have made significant progress in increasing renewable energy efficiency in America. Thanks to the policies at the federal, state and local levels that have contributed to the growth of the clean energy economy.
Learn to invest your money into a clean energy future. If you live in Ohio you can research Duke Energy providers that are working to reduce their environmental footprint.
Energy efficiency is a cost-effective and easy way to save money and energy for families and businesses. It helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Helps to save enough energy each year to power approximately 80,000 homes. Moreover, well-paying jobs created in the clean energy sector.
You use fossil fuels every time you drive your car. Alternative transportation can help you avoid fossil fuels. If your city has a subway, bus or train system, you might consider using public transportation.
Reduced fossil fuel consumption helps to preserve the limited supply and reduces the amount of pollution. Fossil fuel conservation can save you money in many cases. To eliminate dependence on fossil fuel, compare renewable and clean energy options available in your region.