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OWOE - Introduction To Energy - Why is energy important?
  OWOE Vignette - Why is energy important?
OWOE Vignette - Why is energy important?
Why is energy important?
Topic updated: 2015-09-01

Energy powers the world and creates prosperity. Modern forms of energy include oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, and solar power. Without these we would be lighting our homes at night with candles, commuting by horseback or bicycle, have no air conditioning to cool our homes, and have no computers, smart phones or televisions. Energy in the form of electricity powers our homes, businesses, and industries. Energy in the form of gasoline and diesel fuel powers cars, trains, ships, and planes. Energy is used to grow, harvest, process and transport the food required to feed the planet. And energy is used to produce, clean and transport the water that we drink.

Throughout history energy has been the catalyst for rapid advances in technology and standard of living. This discovery of fire allowed homo sapiens to live and flourish amongst the larger and stronger predators of the ancient past. Water power was key to the ability to farm and harvest food in early agrarian societies. The discovery of coal helped triggered the industrial revolution. The discovery of oil fueled the rise of modern transportation. And the discovery of electricity has powered modern society.

One of the key benefits of energy is the ability to use it to make tasks easier and quicker. Not too long ago this meant lifting and moving objects, which allowed one man to do the work of many men or animals. Today it also means harnassing the power of modern communication and data management systems. With each advance man is able to spend less time working and more on leisure activities such as relaxing, traveling, and playing sports or on thinking up new ideas on how to do things better and more easily.

Without energy, virtually none of the things we do today would be possible, and none of the things we use in every day life would exist. Harnessing energy has been the gateway for progress and growth in prosperity and standard of living across the world. From the discovery of fire to the modern industrial world, energy has fueled progress.

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