energy resources, fossil fuel, energy demands, alternative energy, oil, Active Human Power Generation


The discovery and use of energy has revolutionized society for more then two hundred years. With it we have witnessed an explosion of knowledge and technology unparallel in history. Unfortunately our main sources of energy are in limited supply. In order to continue to enjoy the progress made during these last few centuries it is necessary to know both when our supply will run out and to find alternative sources.

The question of when the fossil fuels will run out has been on the minds of many scientists for more than fifty years. In 1956 Dr. M. King Hubbert developed a method of predicting when a particular oil field would reach its maximum production period after which it would decline. (Tsokounogiou, Ayerides, and Tritopoulou 2008) By expanding this method Hubbert predicted that the US would reach its peak in the early 70’s. Although initially discredited, by the mid 70’s it was obvious that Hubbert had been correct, oil production in the US had declined moving the US from being the number one oil producing country to the number three. This same method has been expanded again to create the Peak Oil Theory. According to some estimates the world will reach Peak Oil by 2023, a mere 14 years from now.(et al)

Although reaching peak oil will not bring about an end of society, it will mark the point at which the supply of oil will no longer be able to grow with demand. As this occurs oil will become exorbitantly expensive, increasing the price of every product that oil is used to produce (ie every thing in the US) and every competing form of energy.

In our search for alternative ways to meet energy demands it is important to look at all the possibilities, and to use as many of the options as we can to provide a strong power generation base. In this paper I will discuss one such option called Active Human Power Generation. After giving an overview of its strengths and weaknesses I will make recommendations for future research.


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Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

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Harold B. Lee Library