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Energy efficiency has become a top priority for nations, states, cities, communities, and individuals in recent years. Climate change has been widely documented by the world’s leading environmental scientists, and the effects have impacted lives across the globe. As time and technology advances, the demand for energy has grown. The past 100 years have seen the widespread use of gas-powered vehicles, electricity-thirsty electronics, and other products that require more energy than in decades and centuries past. These technological advancements have allowed for the world to become “smaller” in that peoples all over the world are more connected now than ever. They have also allowed for quality of life to improve, childhood mortality rates to decline, and streamlined processes in all sectors from healthcare to gaming. 

However, these new advancements have placed a new burden on humanity: harnessing the power. Historically, this demand has been supplied by nonrenewable resources such as coal and crude oil. As the demand for energy grows, harnessing that energy has become paramount for the continual use of these new technologies. Unfortunately, this task has led to wars, exploitation, and the destruction of the environment. 

Luckily, this reality has been realized, and new technology exists to reduce our need for nonrenewable energy sources. Renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind power can now be utilized in a meaningful way to combat the use of nonrenewables. Through a combination of utilizing renewable energy and lifestyle changes, we can now change our course and achieve a more energy efficient world. 

Washington & Jefferson’s Center for Energy Policy and Management and West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund strive to be a resource for those seeking to improve their energy efficiency and educate themselves on the realities of energy use in the world.