The Depletion & Scarcity of Energy Sources

There is a clear trend towards renewable energy sources due to the scarcity of fossil fuel energy

Unveiling Energy Realities: Call for Renewable Alternatives

To understand the value of alternative renewable energy sources, it’s essential to comprehend the nature of Fossil Fuels. Through the process of anaerobic decomposition, organic matter buried deep within the Earth’s surface undergoes changes in chemical composition over the years, converting into fuels with high carbon content. These fuels are known as Fossil Fuels, with examples including coal, petroleum, and natural gas. The conversion of organic matter into fossil fuels takes millions of years, making the replenishment process challenging. The increased consumption of fossil fuels due to development has created a constraint, given the non-renewable nature of these fuels. This suggests an anticipated increase in the price of fossil fuels and fossil fuel-based energy (Healey, 2017).

Beyond Depletion: Urgency for Sustainable Energy Policies

With continued reliance on fossil fuels, the risk of depletion poses a detrimental impact on future generations. Depletion not only affects the natural environment through the extraction and combustion process but also raises the concern of an eventual disappearance, potentially leading to a socio-economic disaster that could influence human well-being in the near future (Galgani, Woltjer, de Adelhart Toorop, & de Groot Ruiz, 2021). However, the conventional ‘business as usual’ growth plays a pivotal role in decision-making, often dismissing such concerns.

In 2018, worldwide energy consumption was twice the average growth rate in 2010 and is still progressively increasing. With the rise in real GDP, the increase in energy demand, and the emphasis on increased power generation, these factors have become intertwined. This implies a surge in the amount of fossil fuel required to meet the energy demand necessary to maintain this level of GDP and foster development. The chart below illustrates the expected depletion rate for most fossil fuels, emphasizing the cost of human development.

Figure 01

Reserves in Billions of tons of oil equivalent – Btoe


Galgani, P., Woltjer, G., de Adelhart Toorop, R., & de Groot Ruiz, A. (2021). Fossil fuel and other non-renewable material depletion. Wageningen: Wageningen University and Research. Retrieved October 10, 2022, from,inputs%2C%20such%20as%20mineral%20fertilizer.

Healey, J. (2017). Fossil Fuels (1 ed., Vol. 358). Sydney, Australia: The Spinney Press. Retrieved October 10, 2022

Kuo, G. (2019, May 23). When Fossil Fuels Run Out, What Then? Retrieved October 10, 2022, from MAHB:

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