For years, energy saving was one of the better known initiatives within the built environment when one talks about cost savings. It was in no way related to the survival of mankind. As a result, innovating energy saving products was the main focus of the power related industry. From the use of energy saving electrical fittings and accessories to high efficiency motors, it was all about optimizing the consumption of electricity. Conversely, factors influencing the efficient use of energy such as harmonics and power loss for electricity and better fuel economy cars are closely examined with many research hours devoted to them. While awareness on energy conservation was growing, global warming was still in its infancy.
There is no doubt that energy is one of life’s essentials. No activity can ever get done without energy being consumed. In today’s life, requirements for energy for daily activities are almost taken for granted. We consume electricity like the supply will be forever. We will jump the moment there is a power outage affecting us. We consume fossil fuel with little regards for the potential damage the resultant carbon emission would have on our environment. The question is, can we live our normal life without energy, especially electricity?
The level of awareness on the need to have sustainable development and better managed energy production has probably increased over the past few years. Many programs and initiatives are carried out by the relevant parties to create more responsible energy consumers. Going green is almost fashionable. We have Green Buildings, Green Technology, Green Energy, Green Living, Green Fuel, to name a few. The fact however remains that these terms are just beginning to creep into our daily life. To create a successful green culture would require more than just organizing or participating in green programs or activities. It has to be a way of life, simply because Green Living goes beyond the usual understanding of reducing wastage and recycling materials. Other than living a simple life with less dependent on energy as we know today, the challenge is really to innovate in identifying the source for clean energy. This means that the source for energy generation does not result in drawbacks which could adversely affect human life. Otherwise the irony of global warming causing people to consume more electricity to cool themselves off which in turn creates warmer atmosphere will continue as a vicious cycle. Whether the source is hydro, wind, solar or even uranium the bottom line is human should endeavor to live harmoniously with nature! Can we engineer that kind of Green Living?