Why sustainable energy is everyone’s responsibility

Sustainable energy, such as wind energy and solar energy,
is an unavoidable step towards a renewable future.

Sustainable energy: Most people have heard of this term, and understand that it is a better alternative for the environment. While the development of the sustainable technology has improved over the decade, the switch from fossil fuels to sustainable energy has not been implemented nor even considered on a large scale.

The Problem

As the human kind starting to run out of fossil fuel while the imminent threat from global warming draws near, the switch from traditional energy to sustainable energy is unavoidable. However, with people denying the reality as well as corporations putting profits ahead of the well being of the planet and the human kind, there is not enough people supporting sustainable energy and the application of the technology for green energy has not been applied on a scale that can fully realize the beneficial impact that green energy could have brought. If human has to solve this problem sooner or later, why not starting now instead of waiting for the environment to pass the point of no turning back? The answer lies in the nature of a free market: Businesses have to profit and customers have preferences. The following model will demonstrate how things might turn out for both the supplier and the customer in the energy market given certain decisions made by both parties.


Player 1: General Public
Player 2: Energy Supplier

Available Strategies:

For the general public:

A: Majority prefers traditional energy
B: Majority indifferent (towards either traditional or renewable energy)
C: Majority supports sustainable energy

For the energy supplier:

A: Sticks to traditional energy
B: Adheres to the preference of the general public
C: Switches entirely to sustainable energy

Utilities Assignment Criteria:
(How much points a player get for a certain result)

For the general public:

If the supplier supplies only one kind of energy > lower cost: +1
If the supplier has to supply both kind of energy > higher cost: 0

If the preference is satisfied: +1
If the public is indifferent: 0
If the preference is not satisfied: -1

For the energy supplier:

If its energy type suits the public preference: +1
If its energy type is against the public preference: -1

If the supplier develops sustainable energy > development funds: -1

If all energy provided is sustainable energy > better environment: +2
If part of all energy provided is sustainable energy > better environment: +1

Supplier ASupplier BSupplier C
Public A(2,1)(2,1)(0,0)
Public B(1,1)(1,1)(3,2)
Public C(0,-1)(4,2)(4,2)

We can find saddle point (Nash equilibrium) at AA (2,1), CB (4,2) and CC (4,2).

However, AA is not a pareto optimal since CB, CC and BC have a bigger payoff for both players.

Thus, to the public, they can have a larger payoff if they embrace the renewable energy.

Also, as long as the public does not reject renewable energy, it is always good for the company to develop sustainable energy  as seen in BC, CC.


Thus, according to the model. As long as energy supplier is in line with the general public, the outcome of the energy supplier is always favorable given a certain preference of the public.

However, the best outcome for both party completely overlaps with the development of sustainable energy. Given that the best outcome happens when both the public and the supplier are in favor of sustainable energy and also when the supplier responds to the public’s preference for sustainable energy.

When the general is indifferent and has no specific preference, if the energy supplier takes the initiative and promote sustainable energy, the outcome will be favorable for both party and is even better than when both the public and supplier stick to traditional energy.

Thus, in order to create a better world for all, both the public and the supplier should begin to notice, support and promote sustainable energy.

Renewable energy, is a responsibility of all.

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  1. April 28, 2019 by Jenny.Zhao

    Hello! This was a really clear presentation of the issue. One thing, however, is how do you think the world should shift towards sustainable energy. Many people are not willing or can’t pay for the switch over to sustainable energy. How do you propose to create a change over to sustainable energy? Furthermore in your Chart, the point (A,A) is a local Nash equilibrium because all the points around it are either less than or equal to it. Would this suggest that a drastic change is required to change this world? What are your thoughts?

  2. April 28, 2019 by Ivan.Garcia

    Hi Shuailin,

    Thank you for your presentation on this pressing topic. This was super helpful, especially in thinking about the ways we can move to sustainable energy before it’s too late.


  3. April 29, 2019 by Payton.Nesby

    I really appreciate how clear you made all of the information! This is a topic I am also very passionate about.

  4. May 20, 2019 by Karen

    Hi Shuailin, So interesting! I had never thought about climate change action in terms of game theory before. I hope more people read this!

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