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Heating and Cooling are key energy services required of all human beings on the planet.

Uses of Energy

Useful energy is a term used to refer to the "energy services" that we gain from energy.  Often, we put focus on the negative aspects of energy production and infrastructure, but ultimately energy enables humans to do things we would not be able to do otherwise.  It enables productivity and comfort.  For these reasons, energy access enhances quality of life and enables development.  

Ultimately, our entire energy system exists to provide us with just a handful of key energy services, allowing us many day-to-day activities:

  • Heating and Cooling - heating and cooling are crucial energy services for the health, wellbeing and comfort of populations globally.  Maintaining livable temperatures is necessary for human survival, particularly in places with extreme temperatures.  In addition, heat is necessary for cooking and sanitation.   Globally over two billion people do not have clean cooking facilities and must burn biomass or kerosene to cook, leading to respiratory problems and fire concerns.
  • Light - it may seem obvious but light is crucial for human productivity.  Light enables people to work long after the sun has set and provides safety.  Globally, 1.2 billion people lack access to electricity.
  • Power -  power enables the use of many products and appliances that make our lives easier and more productive.  Internets and cell phones are a prime example; both are not possible without electricity and both lead to massive advances in productivity. 
  • Transportation - being able to move ourselves or our goods from Point A to Point B is also crucial for productivity.  Ease of transportation allows us to conduct business, eat foods that are not growable in our region, and save large amounts of time in our day to day lives.
  • Products - Manufacturing and agriculture are heavily reliant on energy. All of the products we wear, foods we eat, and items in our homes were made possible by energy. 

It is important to note that, while there is much debate about the best method to harness energy, energy is ultimately a very 'human' system and is crucial for us to live our lives. 

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Energy is the capacity of a physical system to perform work.

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Light allows for increased productivity and safety. It is something many of us take for granted but with 1.2 Billion people on the planet not having access to electricity, this is a critical human need.