Today, we use huge amounts of energy - to move, lift, warm, cool, cook or light things. Energy is one of the basic necessities of our universe. It has aided in development and improved living standards all over the world. It is the engine of growth and progress.
For millions of years, humans relied on energy in their own muscles to do work. Then, it was discovered that using wood and coal, fire could cook food, and warm living spaces, that wind could propel sailing ships/vessels and a flowing river could turn a waterwheel and create power. Animals were also tamed as new sources of energy. The steam engine was developed using steam to produce energy to run machines. This made work easier and more productive. The discovery of electricity and the internal combustion engine created an even more important way of using energy.
Energy comes from several different sources. Currently, global energy use depends heavily on fossil fuels, such as oil, coal, and natural gas, which are referred to as non-renewables, because they cannot be replaced. They are called "fossil fuels" because they were formed between 350 million and 50 million years ago from the remains of prehistoric plants and animals. These were chemically changed through the action of heat from the earth and pressure from rocks above into oil, natural gas and coal. The growing demand for fossil fuel energy is posing serious environmental and health challenges, since energy use and production contribute over 88% of the greenhouse gas emissions, pragmatic changes in the energy sector and new technologies have the potential to reduce emissions significantly.
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