In 2015 the oil industry dominated the news, a decrease in prices and a surplus oil production made headlines but the future doesn’t belong to oil alone. We rely on oil primarily for heating and transportation but they aren’t the only ones in the market anymore. As our reliance on oil diminishes we are starting to rely on plenty of other sources of energy. In the past coal dominated energy as the primary source of energy and before that our reliance for energy was in wood, its’ not until we discovered oil that we relied less on both. Now the future of the market doesn’t belong to one source but several.
Since 2005 the production of coal has declined in the United States. Coal releases too much carbon dioxide and is in direct contrast with the growing concern of climate change. Since the earthquake in Fukushima nuclear plants in the U.S. have steadily closed, this also has to due in part of old age and conditions of the power plants. Countries such as Germany and Taiwan plan to get rid of nuclear energy programs altogether.
Recently natural gas been undercutting other sources because of the success with fracking. The production is on the rise but faces opposition over concerns of environmental damage. Wind power is doing particularly well especially in countries where wind power is generated easily, in the UK the cost as much is equal to that of coal. The demand for solar across world is on the rise the popularity of clean energy and decreasing cost of solar panels is making solar more competitive than ever. In the United States Solar City has made solar energy more accessible with low cost plans.
In spite of all this oil is still our main source of energy. The United States produced a record number of barrels last year, OPEC ended the year in a surplus, and Iran-an oil rich nation- recently had its economic sanctioned lifted, it’s safe to say oil is not going away in the next few years. When prices remain low there is less incentive to find alternatives.
Although oil doesn’t always compete with other sources of energy since renewable energy primarily generates electricity, while oil powers all forms of transportation. Since very few vehicles run on electricity there is an indirect competition to see how many vehicles will convert and run on electric power rather than gasoline. Oil is also far behind other resources when it comes to safety and clean energy. In the next few years the rise of renewable energy will change the market while before we had one primary source of energy soon we will have many.