Hybrid autos like the Toyota Prius offer better km’s to the litre of fuel without losing size or comfort, while electric automobiles undertake to transport us without the need for crude oil.
Each company is trying hard to get the best green stamp for their products, whether green cleaning companies or software developers. Windmills are now not the quaint Dutch paintings you see hanging on art studio walls; they are turning up on farms, mountain ridges, even in the ocean. Many governments seem to launch a new energy initiative every week, with the promise of more green jobs to counterbalance any transient agony in your wallet.
But while these green possible choices may now appear ubiquitous, they’re not essentially as common as we think. Take electricity: a minute amount of our electricity came from replenish-able sources and the majority of that's hydroelectric power, not wind or solar. Nuclear power generation was starting to look like an option, however it is not likely to get up in the train of Japan’s nuclear disaster.
Green technology, particularly in cars, will get a big boost from higher oil prices. That's the good news. The bad news is that those increased prices result from higher demand in China and the 3rd world. Since November 2009, China has become the biggest auto market in the world. China’s car industry has been in fast development as far back as the early 1990s. In 2009, China produced 13.79 million vehicles, of which 8 million were passenger cars and 3.41 million were commercial autos. Most of the cars manufactured in China are sold within China, with only 369,600 vehicles being exported in 2009. This increasing demand for vehicles will have a huge impact on oil prices worldwide.
While we consume less oil, we may not be slowing the rate of fossil-fuel consumption; we might just be transferring that consumption somewhere else. Unless we somehow stop burning traditional fuels, all the carbon now under the Earth’s surface will end up in the atmosphere in the following couple of hundred years. As the physicist Robert B. Laughlin recently pointed out in The American Scholar, from the Earth’s standpoint, a couple of hundred years is less than the blinking of an eye. But sadly that is not the case for human lives which will be changed greatly.
Unfortunately, though we have enhanced technologies that enable us to use less fossil fuel, yet we now do not have any scalable way to use no carbon, or anything close to none. Even rapidly maturing technologies like wind power need carbon in depth backup generation capacity for those instances when the wind does not blow. Nobody has yet came up with a composite commercial plane. Being green, we’re finding out, is going to be tougher than it sounds.