Access to a Continuous Supply of Energy Makes Life Easier
Many Americans move through their days without giving their energy consumption a moment’s thought. They step out of bed and turn on the lights in their heated or air-conditioned home. The programmed coffee maker already has a hot brew ready and waiting. The morning news is playing. The treadmill is in use. After a hot shower and getting dressed, it’s out the door, into the car, and off to work.
Everything mentioned so far requires a continuous source of energy to keep the day moving forward. We use energy like there’s no tomorrow. And we, as a collective, need to be worried about that tomorrow.
Science Direct defines energy security as having “access to clean, reliable, and affordable energy services for cooking, heating, lighting, communications, and other productive uses.”
We’ve all experienced power outages when even one hour without energy puts our lives into inconvenience and hardship. No stove to cook on, no TV, no personal technology past our battery life, and not enough light to even read. When the continuous supply of energy is interrupted beyond the occasional outage, people’s health and almost every sector of our economy — manufacturing, farming, and transportation — is put in jeopardy.
Unlike many underdeveloped areas of the world, the United States has benefitted greatly from energy security. But is it sustainable in terms of our future? The world is slowly turning away from fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, for energy security to more sustainable practices like solar, wind, and hydropower.
According to National Geographic, the world uses about 320 billion kilowatt-hours of energy each day, which is equal to about 22 bulbs burning nonstop for every human being on the planet. And, as we continue to grow in population and economically, our dependence on continuous energy sources to carry out our daily functions grows.
This rising use and dependence pose new challenges to society, with climate change leading those challenges. Accordingly, the definition of energy security must change to now include not only a reliable supply of energy but a reliable supply of sustainable energy that can meet the demands of a world in need of decreasing its carbon footprint.
While energy security is a huge political and social issue, there is much that individuals can do to join the energy conservation movement while keeping our convenient lives convenient. Renewable energy is an important component of the future of energy security, but it works differently than fossil fuels. Solar and wind are not constants, so until innovations are developed to not only harness but store energy, some fossil fuel use will remain in our near future. Lessening energy use in the home is one way people can impact our reliance on fossil fuels. Innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) are making it possible to better manage home energy use by automatically turning off lights and appliances when no one is in a room or by adjusting the temperature up or down when no one is home. Without eliminating comfort, artificial intelligence products such as Builddie can make saving energy practically effortless, making your life easier.
While the global energy landscape is more complex than it was 50 years ago, the home energy landscape is simpler to maneuver for those who are passionate about the future of our planet and believe that each of us can make a difference.