Sustainable development can be simply defined as producing and consuming without facing deficits while maintaining the ability to produce in future. The idea of sustainability has gained considerable popularity in the 21st century. Economists, policy makers, and politicians emphasis on observing the principle of sustainability at all levels. However, it is a difficult task to put this theory into practice.
The term development refers to rise in living standards in the developed countries. Sustainable development is a process aims at achieving improvements while maintaining the balance in ecological processes which are essential to life.
The idea to achieve sustainable development became popular after the conclusion of World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987. The commission was organized by the United Nations in an attempt to derive solutions to balance unprecedented growth in population and scarcity of natural resources. The scarcity of natural resources, such as water and land, poses serious threats to human existence.
The provision of dependable energy is crucial to economies. Developed economies spent 5-10 percent of their gross national product on power import. The demand for energy has increased dramatically in the 21st century. A further rise in energy consumption is expected in coming years. Thus, it is of paramount importance to develop efficient energy production means. Reserves for energy resources such as gas and oil are depleting rapidly. Economists suggest that as the reserve of a natural source decrease, fuel price rises sharply.
Governmental policies and regional relations play a vital role in determining the growth rate of an economy. However, the fact remains the same that fossil fuel, oil, and gas reserves are limited and it is hard to achieve sustainable development. Taking into account the limitations and scarcity of oil, gas and fossil fuel, it can be said that renewable energy supply is more compatible with sustainable development. Therefore, a national energy policy should focus on:
- Development in renewable energy means
- Elimination of pollution
- Lifestyle compatible with circumstances
- Considerate use of energy
Demand for energy is likely to increase despite efforts to enhance the efficiency level. Renewable energy can adequately meet the growing need for power. It is environment-friendly and inexpensive. Above all, renewable power resources are not scarce. Future largely depends on innovative means of power production. Many developed countries have already been working on renewable energy projects. Rental power production can meet the short-term power deficit. Small businesses and households can meet their power needs by installing a small power plant. However, to achieve sustainable development, it is important to focus on long-term energy solutions.