The growing concern with greenhouse gas emissions and global warming can hardly have escaped anyone's attention. Being in many respects the most talked about topic of the new century, it should by now be common knowledge that humanity's reliance on fossil fuels as energy sources is gradually wrecking the ozone layer that protects the world from the less endearing powers of the sun. Yet the increasingly palpable threat of global warming and its consequences has at least resulted in a growing awareness of the problems inherent to oil-based economies. Knowledge is power, as they say, and indeed initiatives to reverse or at least slow down the ongoing climate change have multiplied several times over in the last decade or so.
Of these initiatives it is the research into new technology that seems most likely to be able to carry fruit. It stands to reason that any community as fond of their convenience as humanity will not give it up for anything in the world. Therefore it is not feasible to expect the use of fossil fuels to lessen unless an alternative that allows for the same degree of comfort is provided. This applies as much to motor vehicles as it does to electrical home appliances, for which renewable energy sources need to be both static and portable, among other things.
Fortunately there is a whole host of alternative energies both new and old that is currently being explored as potential replacements for oil-based technology. Wind power, solar power, wave power, tidal power and hydroelectricity are some of the options that are open to us for electricity generation. Granted, some of these have existed for over a century, but that does not mean that improvements upon the original design cannot be made at this point in time. Biofuels, electricity and hydrogen are instead looked into as potential gasoline replacements for motor traffic. Vehicles already exist in all these categories, but the ongoing development of new ideas and designs in this department are nonetheless relevant.
It might be a while before any of these renewable energy sources are extensively implemented into society, if they will be at all, but even if nothing concrete comes of a great deal of the currently active projects one can be sure that progress will be made, and that our society might come to look very different for it within a none too distant future.