If something is sustainable it should last forever.  To sustain something is to keep and support it for the future.


Sustainable energy

Wind turbine © dan Free Digital PhotosOne of the biggest issues of sustainability is our use of fossil fuels to provide energy -electricity, fuel, plastics and many other things.  Using coal, oil (petrol/diesel) and gas is unsustainable because these products will eventually run out.  What is more, exploration for them can cause environmental damage.  Emissions and CO2 from burning fossil fuels are contributing to climate change.  One day we will have to depend on other things to provide our electricity and fuel.  Uranium for nuclear energy is also a non-renewable fuel.

The answer to this problem is renewable energy - this means energy that is sustainable.  Examples of renewable energies are solar (sun), biomass, wind, tidal and geothermal.  These are renewable because we don’t expect the sun to disappear anytime soon, as with winds and the tides of the sea!  If a whole village depends on solar or wind power then the village's energy supply is sustainable, if it depends on fossil fuels then sooner or later they will have to stop and change the way they live.

For more information see our factsheet on Energy and download Alternative Energy - Conservation Education below.

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