Coal a vi­able so­lu­tion to the en­ergy cri­sis

Enterprise - - Contents - By M. Os­man Ghani

Since an­cient times use of en­ergy has served as an in­te­gral part of hu­man life and their pros­per­ity. As pop­u­la­tion was in­creas­ing, the de­mand for en­ergy was also ex­pand­ing. It was the dis­cov­ery of elec­tric­ity and ex­ten­sive use of fos­sil fuel that led to the in­dus­trial revo­lu­tion and that steered ad­vance­ment of sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, cul­mi­nat­ing in en­hanced level of so­cio- eco­nomic pros­per­ity, bet­ter liv­ing con­di­tions, bet­ter health and hu­man hap­pi­ness. The role of en­ergy still re­mains as a vi­tal in­gre­di­ent for rapid so­cio- eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. The per capita con­sump­tion of en­ergy in­di­cates so­cio- eco­nomic pros­per­ity of any coun­try. It is also a cri­te­rion to dis­tin­guish be­tween an ad­vanced and a poor coun­try. Any na­tion will­ing to pur­sue rapid so­cio- eco­nomic ad­vance­ment must as­sign pri­or­ity to the de­vel­op­ment of this vi­tal fac­tor.

En­ergy de­vel­op­ment, broadly mean­ing in­creased pro­vi­sion and use of en­ergy ser­vices, is an es­sen­tial part of en­hanced eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. Ad­vanced in­dus­tri­al­ized so­ci­eties use more en­ergy per unit of eco­nomic out­put and far more en­ergy per capita than poorer so­ci­eties, es­pe­cially those still in the pre in­dus­trial state. En­ergy use per unit of out­put does seem to de­cline over time in the more ad­vanced stages of in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion, re­flect­ing the adop­tion of in­creas­ingly more ef­fi­cient tech­nolo­gies for en­ergy pro­duc­tion and uti­liza­tion, as well as changes in the com­po­si­tion of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity. And en­ergy in­ten­sity in to­day’s de­vel­op­ing coun­tries prob­a­bly peaks sooner and at a lower level along the de­vel­op­ment path than was the case dur­ing the in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion of the de­vel­oped world. But even with trends to­ward greater en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and other damp­en­ing fac­tors, to­tal en­ergy use and en­ergy use per capita con­tinue to grow in the ad­vanced in­dus­tri­alised coun­tries, and even more rapid growth can be ex­pected in some de­vel­op­ing coun­tries as their in­comes ad­vance. The fact that ex­panded pro­vi­sion and use of en­ergy ser­vices is strongly as­so­ci­ated with eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment leaves open how im­por­tant en­ergy is a ca­sual fac­tor in eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. De­vel­op­ment in­volves a num­ber of other steps be­sides those as­so­ci­ated with en­ergy, no­tably in­clud­ing the evo­lu­tion of ed­u­ca­tion and labour mar­kets, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to support cap­i­tal

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