The next generation's views on the future of energy

We were fortunate to welcome this week two bright middle school students from Gautesete skole in Stavanger, Norway, Anna Aasland Klausen (15) and Stine Grindheim Jakobsen (15), to shadow our Operations Team. Today, we are featuring an article displaying the girls´ observations during their work experience with us.

Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources

This article provides insights on key energy vectors and their sources, by assessing them based on the overall interests of society. Focus is on energy conservation, quality, and sustainability.

Energy is a crucial aspect of human activity, contributing to economic growth and technological advancement in an ever-growing world population. However, as energy consumption is also a major source of pollution, energy quality and conservation become ever more important. Undeniably, the cleanest, cheapest, and most efficient form of energy is saved energy. There are distinct types of finite, non-renewable natural resources, some more harmful than others. With the consequences of global warming becoming increasingly apparent, there is a growing necessity for efficient and scalable use of renewable resources. Renewable energy predominately derives from naturally replenishing sources and is key in this energy transition phase.


Coal power plants produce electrical energy by burning coal, transferring the combustion heat to a steam boiler. The steam then drives a steam engine or a turbine. Coal is the most abundant fossil fuel globally, accounting for 11% of the world's energy consumption and 38% of the world's electricity production. Coal is transported by ship, train, truck, or conveyor belt and is easy to store. However, substantial amounts of coal are needed to produce energy, resulting in low energy quality.

Coal power is highly polluting, contributing to dangerous air pollution. Coal power plants cause numerous fatalities annually, yet there is no indication that production will cease in the near future. Therefore, carbon capture and emission regulation could be long-term solutions. Carbon capture involves using technology to capture carbon in the air and store it in areas where fossil energy sources were previously extracted. Emission regulation entails setting a maximum limit for carbon emissions, combined with a price for exceeding this limit. At time of writing, the price for one ton of carbon emissions within the EU is around €70. Platforms like Maritime Carbon Solutions help companies track their emissions and manage compliance with such regulations, ensuring efficient adherence to the EU-ETS directive.

Oil and Gas

Oil and gas provide us with energy through electricity, heat, and fuel. The process involves burning fossil fuel and heating water, which then turns into steam that drives a turbine to generate electrical energy. Oil and gas are transported via pipeline systems or ships and are easy to store, although gas must first be cooled or compressed. Oil and gas have high energy quality due to their diverse applications. However, as fossil fuels, they still emit prominent levels of greenhouse gases, causing both global and local consequences such as glacier melting, extreme weather, biodiversity loss, and rising sea levels.

Nuclear Power

Nuclear power can be generated through fission or fusion. The nuclear power we use today is based on fission and is not renewable. Nuclear power cannot be reused and provides us with electrical energy through a process where atoms split, releasing energy and heat. The heat evaporates water, which then drives a turbine to produce electricity, like water, coal, oil, and gas. Nuclear power has a high energy quality due to the large amount of energy contained in a small atom. Nuclear power plants use uranium, which is abundant in nature, and account for about 10% of global electricity production.

Despite facing criticism regarding secrecy over the nuclear installations’ operations, there is increasing demand for this form of energy, being emission-free form of energy. Simultaneously, due to the cross-border character of nuclear risk, all states have considerable technical and strategic interest for the safety of their citizens in this industry.


Hydropower is a renewable energy source that does not pollute. It harnesses the gravitational force and kinetic energy of water to drive a turbine, which generates electrical energy via a generator. Hydropower accounts for 15.9% of global power production, and in Norway, it constitutes 95% of all power production. Hydropower is renewable, clean, and inexpensive, benefiting future generations. It can be stored in dams for extended periods and transported over long distances via power lines.

On the other hand, hydropower contributes to loss of biodiversity, as the building of new plants distorts the water source’s ecosystem. Additionally, hydropower is unreliable as it depends on continuous heavy flow of water driving the turbine, which cannot be guaranteed. Nevertheless, hydropower generates the least greenhouse gases among power production technologies, a crucial attribute given the challenge of stabilising greenhouse gases.


There is significant technological potential for improving the utilisation of non-renewable resources to make them more sustainable on a well-to-wake basis, and even more potential for improving the competitive position of renewable resources. While coal, oil, and gas emit greenhouse gases, hydropower and nuclear power do not. Platforms like Maritime Carbon Solutions play a crucial role in tracking and managing emissions, helping companies comply with regulations like the EU-ETS directive, and ensuring a more sustainable future.

Written by:
Anna Aasland Klausen and Stine Grindheim Jakobsen on behalf of MCS