What are energy resources

Energy resources

special raw materials that are suitable for performing work in the physical sense. The following distinctions can be roughly made (see table on p. 550). Up to the beginning of the 18th century, all production processes were based on the use of various forms of solar energy: Agriculture produced chemically bound forms of solar energy as food for humans and animals; mechanical power was obtained through the use of wind and water power. Even today, in the age of large-scale industrial energy sales, solar energy radiation and the resulting supply of the huge "machine" nature with energy make up around 15,000 times the other human energy sales. The source of solar energy are fusion processes on the sun, which will therefore have used up its energy supply in a few billion years and thus initiate the downfall of the planetary system. By human standards, that's why solar energy is an electricity resource with huge potential and an unlimited lifespan. The chemically bound energy in coal, gas and oil deposits represents a small fraction of the solar energy radiated in millions of years ago, which was stored in biomass and is available to mankind as geological "heritage". Large-scale industrialization has only become possible since stocks of energy resources were made usable for industrial production. Problems related to the use of these energy resources arise from • the combustion of carbon compounds, which inevitably gives rise to CO2. In addition to other substances, the inherently non-toxic C02 contributes around 50% to the so-called "greenhouse effect", which can change the earth's climate in the long term. In addition, when fossil fuels are burned at high combustion temperatures, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and in the case of coal and oil also sulfur dioxide (S02). The associated environmental pollution is made responsible for the formation of so-called "acid rain", which in turn has negative consequences for plants, animals and people. Pollutants can be retained by filter systems, NO can be released by catalytic convertersx convert nitrogen and oxygen back into the original air components. In the large combustion plants, the limit values ​​for permissible emissions have been greatly reduced, in the engine area NO settlesx-Cleaning systems with catalysts. • the limited resources available for fossil fuels. Since an unlimited substitution of energy resources by the use of physical capital is not possible (second law of thermodynamics), a transition to a new, practically unlimited energy resource, i.e. a backstop technology, is necessary in the very long term. Solar energy and breeding technology are seen as candidates for this role, possibly also the realization of the merger. The order of magnitude of the reserves can of course only be roughly estimated. The energy content of world coal stocks in particular is estimated to be several times that of oil and natural gas, even if oil shale and oil sands are taken into account. Literature: Ströbele, W., Economic growth with limited energy resources, Berlin 1984.

Previous technical term: Energy law | Next technical term: energy sector



Report this article to the editors as incorrect & mark it for editing