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Global Warming: Energy, Environmental Pollution, and the Impact of Power Electronics

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1 Author(s)
Bose, B.K. ; Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA

Global energy consumption is dramatically increasing due to our quest for a higher standard of living and the increasing world population. Most of our energy comes from fossil fuels, and burning these fuels causes environmental problems, and in particular, the global warming problem. Global warming raises the sea level; brings drought in tropical regions near the equator; increases hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods; and causes the spread of diseases. The consequences are serious and have the potential to bring tremendous unrest in the world. Various measures to solve or mitigate the global warming problem have been outlined in this article. This article particularly highlights the impact of power electronics in solving this problem. Power electronics will play a very important role in clean energy generation, bulk storage of electricity, and efficient energy utilization, and eventually, it will be a key element in the energy policies of nations. It has been estimated that the widespread energy efficiency improvement by power electronics and other methods with the existing technologies can save 20% of the global energy demand, and another 20% can be saved by preventing waste, i.e., by various conservation methods. Finally, the global warming problem is solvable by the united effort of humanity.

Published in:

Industrial Electronics Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

March 2010

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