Oil has long been a mainstay in our lives when it comes to how we power our homes, get to and from a local place, and transport ourselves to far off lands. Whether it’s planes or automobiles, oil is needed to get most engines going so people can to where they need to be. Oil has also worked to heat homes across our nation when the winter comes. For decades, the reliable way to guarantee energy every year was through oil. However, the end of the oil age may be upon us.
Why has oil been a reliable energy source for decades?
For decades, oil was a dependable source of energy for millions of people with a few notable exceptions such as the oil embargo in the 1970s and a few other interruptions. By and large, oil was a reliable way to create energy around the country. It was also relatively cheap to transport, store, refine, and then sell to consumers and others with, at one time, seemingly limitless oil reserves and deposits throughout the world, including in the United States.
What makes oil less attractive as time has gone on?
While, in the beginning, oil was much cheaper and seemingly limitless, demand began to catch up with supply. Oil price wars became more common and the amount of money consumers had to spend to drive or airlines had to spend to effectively fly their fleet made it a less attractive option. Additionally, as so many around the world have become more and more concerned with climate change and its causes, oil production and products that use oil – namely vehicles and airplanes – have come to be seen as culprits for a changing environment and planet.
Are there any realistic alternatives?
In previous decades, many energy experts would not have believed there would be a realistic alternative to oil powering our energy needs but today, clean energy is becoming more and more prevalent. Now, totally electric cars that are emission free are able to get all the power they need off any local power grid. There are more clean energy power plants that consist of wind, solar, or hydroelectric power that is renewable and does not create harmful emissions that damage our planet or contribute to climate change.
What does this mean for the future of oil?
As transportation networks continue to be stretched, environmental considerations become top of mind for corporations and consumers, and it becomes cheaper to invest in renewable energy sources, the future is likely bleak for oil. While it does not look like there will be any immediate stoppage of the use of oil for transportation, home heating, or other purposes in the short term, there will likely be more use for renewable energy sources and a decline of sources that continue to be depleted. Oil may still be a current commodity, but it may go the way of the dinosaur for our grandchildren.