Sustainability has become quite a relevant term in this era. All of the major developed nations of the world are trying and striving hard to achieve this goal. Sustainability in simple terminology can be explained as living a good quality of life without degrading the environment.
Sustainability has two requirements – the first is related to harnessing energy and raw materials from the biosphere and the natural environment. The second is related to going back of the waste products and material environment after using the raw materials and energy.
The reserves of coal, uranium and other fossil fuels is limited in quantity as the geological time frame in which these are formed is a huge time period that is millions of years. So in order to maintain a balance we should have a sustainable use of these resources to generate energy and power otherwise at the present pace of usage these resources won’t last much longer in future. Furthermore, excess use of these fossils emits harmful gases into the environment which results in a major problem of global warming these days.
The sustainability criteria in these times include solar, wind, tidal, geothermal etc types of energy which we harvest to produce power without harming the environment by any kinds of pollutants. Other methods to head towards sustainability goals include energy savings and increased energy efficiency. The first reduces the energy consumption by responsible use of energy – e.g., turn off lights when leaving a room. The second reduces energy losses of energy conversion processes – e.g. use more efficient lamps for the conversion of electricity to light. Together, energy saving and energy efficiency can reduce the demand for fuels and harmful emissions.