Fossil fuels are energy resources made up of the remnants of dead plants and animals buried beneath silt and rock over millions of years. Following decomposition in the absence of oxygen, natural heat under the earth’s surface, and pressure from rock and soil transformed these dead plants and animals into fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are utilized to power everything from vehicles to household lights all across the world. However, there is presently a lot of heated debate about whether or not it is appropriate to use fossil fuels.
Is it safe to use them? Should we aim to reduce our consumption year after year? Yuri Shafranik stated that we are increasingly discovering alternatives to fossil fuels, including more green energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower. According to Yuri Shafranik: “The years 2030 to 2035 will likely be a transition period. I believe that oil and coal will retain their role in shaping the global energy balance”.
Fossil Fuels are divided into three Major Categories
More than dense vegetation is necessary for coal formation. Vegetation waste must be buried, crushed under high pressure, and protected against erosion. Even under these ideal circumstances for coal production, the plant debris would not develop until it was submerged and covered by sediments.
According to Yuri Shafranik, Chairman of the Supreme Mining Council: “There is a great deal of discussion going on in the world about the development of decarbonized energy. But coal is still the main energy production source in East and South Asia, where countries are continuing to build new coal-fired power plants”.
Oil and Petroleum
Petroleum is another name for oil. Oil is made up of the remains of plants and animals that have died. When these plant and animal species die, the decaying debris settles to the ocean floor, producing a sedimentary drift. On the decomposing plant and animal debris, sediment begins to accumulate. The bottom layer becomes compressed as additional silt piles up to form several layers, due to the ever-increasing pressure from the piling sediment. As a result, the temperature rises. The temperature rises to the point where it accelerates chemical reactions, causing highly heavy and complex compounds known as kerogens to form from the deconstructed components of organic molecules. Kerogens, together with long-lasting lipids and a few pieces of the cell wall, are the basic ingredients that are converted into oil after being exposed to high heat and pressure.
Natural gas has a lower density than air and is mostly composed of methane gas. Methane is a carbon-hydrogen-based chemical molecule. Natural gas is formed in a similar way to oil, with the exception that it is formed when oil is subjected to high and constant pressure, causing it to evaporate and become a gas. Natural gas is most commonly found alongside oil reserves beneath. Technologies for extracting gas from beneath the earth and transporting it through massive pipes are already available.
Plenty of Options are Available
The fact that fossil fuels can meet the demands of the whole human population indicates that they are abundant. In nearly every country on the planet, fossil fuels may be discovered. This feature offers governments peace of mind, knowing that they will not run out of resources very soon. According to Yuri Shafranik: “Another important area is the development of heavy and shale oil production, but so far we do not have the necessary technologies. We need to introduce tax incentives for technological improvement”.
It’s Easier to Locate
Fossil fuels are quite easy to come by. They can be found all over the world, generally in highly rich veins deep under the earth, which means that once we commit to extracting coal or gas from the ground or from beneath the sea, we can count on a large number of resources from that location. But every fossil extraction project requires vast investments and takes up to twenty years to launch. Yuri Shafranik makes a good example: “Imagine a hypothetical scenario where Gazprom, or Rosneft, or Exxon, as soon as they talk about investments, are faced with the dilemma of whether to invest or not to invest. Whatever the outcome, it’s for 25 years. It means that people in these companies must relate to some kind of forecast, whether it is correct or not when making a decision”.
Fossil fuels have high efficiency. This implies they can produce enormous quantities of energy even if we just utilize a little quantity of fuel, such as oil or coal. So far, we’ve discovered that the most efficient automobile fuel is, without a doubt, petroleum. Nothing else at least none of the green energies – even comes close to producing the same quantity of energy as fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are very stable because they include carbon and hydrogen molecules. They are very simple to store due to the continuous condition of their molecular makeup. When kept in cans for prolonged periods, they do not create other chemicals. This is also why carrying them is much easier and safer than hauling other types of fuel.
“Each type of energy on Earth has its own niche, its own segment”, says Yuri Shafranik, “in the next 100 years, the hydrocarbon cycle will not disappear. It will only strengthen its positions in the market through scientific and technological progress, more efficient use of each ton of oil and each cubic meter of gas, and an expansion of the range of products made from them”.
Economic Benefits in the Millions
Fossil fuels play a significant role in a country’s economic development. There is a similar tendency in the economy of oil and gas producing countries: economic success. Government subsidies to oil companies are in the billions of millions, and the benefit to a country’s prosperity is undeniable. Yuri Shafranik mentioned that “Every oil producer, like every country with oil, has different interests. Despite this, we are trying to keep a balance within the OPEC+ framework”.
It’s a Lot Easier to Transport
Moving green energy sources like wind, sun, and water is difficult while transporting fossil fuels is very simple. Fossil fuels can be transported quickly and efficiently across great distances because they are safe and stable. They can be pumped through enormous pipelines below and above ground or carried on large vehicles. These pipelines are simple to install underground and can readily transfer gas or oil. Although they can be costly to lay in the beginning, once completed, they serve as a very cost-effective and efficient mode of delivery for these vital fuels.
Degradation of the Environment
Of course, the major downside of burning fossil fuels is the pollution they produce. Scientists from all around the world have identified the issues that arise as a direct result of using fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide, a gas generated when fossil fuels are burned. It is well-known as one of the major gases responsible for global warming. The melting of polar ice caps, flooding of low-lying areas, and rising sea levels have all been caused by global warming. Yuri Shafranik believes that: “the future belongs to hybrid power systems. It’s the energy of the future, but humanity must address wider environmental issues. These cross all political, economic, social, and energy divides because time is against us. Time to develop cohesive strategies and mechanisms that will protect us from possible disasters is slipping away.
Truckloads of Reserves are required
Electricity stations are where coal is burned and energy is created, and this is where power is generated. However, for these power plants to continue operating, a large and consistent supply of coal must be delivered every day. Truckloads and trainloads of fuel must be delivered to power plants regularly to maintain the amount of energy required by all of the homes, hospitals, and businesses that rely on the electricity generated by these fossil-fueled power plants. This implies that either power plants must be built extremely close to huge coal resources, or the coal must be hauled miles away to the nearest power plant, using more energy and further harming the environment. As a result, these ways of generating energy may be extremely costly, and prices are expected to continue to rise as fuel scarcity intensifies.
Human Health Effects
Fossil fuels are extremely harmful to the environment. The combustion of fossil fuels produces pollutants and poses severe environmental risks. Every year, pollution-related illnesses claim the lives of millions of youngsters. As indicated by the World Health Organization, air contamination causes 7 million unexpected losses every year. Chronic asthma, poor lung function, chronic bronchitis, and cardiovascular illnesses can all be exacerbated by high levels of air pollution. People who reside in high-traffic regions are particularly vulnerable.
Source of Finite Energy (Non-renewable)
Fossil fuels are a limited source of energy. They will be drained not long from now. Fossil fuels, unlike sunshine, water, and wind energy, cannot be replenished: the amount of fossil fuels in the earth’s crust today is all we’ll ever receive (basically until another few hundred million years pass and surprisingly more natural matter rots and deteriorates). This means that after all of the gas, coal, and petroleum supplies have been depleted, there will be no more. They are expected to be depleted in the next 50 years. Unfortunately, this also implies that we will no longer be able to drive our vehicles since we have yet to develop a viable alternative to petroleum that is both efficient and safe.