How does energy usage
relate to environmental quality?
Energy consumption is a facet of daily life – from heating the house, to
driving to work, to cooking dinner. For many, the concept of energy
consumption is simply the dollar amount on the energy or power bill.
However, energy consumption is more than an economic concern because it
is directly linked to the consumption of renewable and nonrenewable
natural resources, to air emissions, and to water pollutants.
Additionally, drilling for non-renewable resources reduces habitat and
biodiversity, and expends a large quantity of energy in the process of
What are the
sub-attributes of Energy?
Total usage (J)
Nuclear energy (%)
Coal usage (%)
Oil/Gas usage (%)
Solar energy (%)
Wind energy (%)
How does energy usage
The percent energy consumption by each source of energy is
indicative of the community’s reliance on renewable versus non-renewable
resources. While it is necessary to examine each sub-attribute alone,
it is also imperative to analyze them in comparison to one another.
Comparing the sub-attribute data enables us to obtain an overall picture
of how the community is meeting its energy needs.
Ultimately, a sustainable region will be more reliant on
renewable resources—solar, wind, hydro, and biomass. Thus, the
percentages associated with these will be higher in more sustainable
communities. Solar, wind, and hydro-electric energy indicate higher air
quality because the process of conversion to a useful form of energy
does not release as many harmful pollutants.
On the other side, an unsustainable region will be reliant
on nuclear and fossil fuel energy. The technology and ability to
utilize renewable resources is prevalent, thus, a community primarily
reliant upon nuclear and fossil fuel energy is unsustainable.
How does energy
interconnect with other indicators?
Total energy usage should parallel population. If
population rises, then energy consumption should correspondingly
increase. An unsustainable and inefficient community is symbolized by
an increase in consumption without a correlated increase in population.
The direct effects of energy consumption on environmental
quality indirectly links to effects on human health disease rates
related to air and water quality. Also, the source of energy dictates
the amount imported and the cost dictates who can afford it.
This website will post sub-attribute descriptions and energy
databases at a later date. As there are not any sub-attributes to
examine at this time, proceed to the attribute of land-use.