Solar Energy for the Next 5 Billion Years

Caputo, R. (1981). Solar Energy for the Next 5 Billion Years. IIASA Professional Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: PP-81-009

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This report attempts to stand back and look at our global energy system as a macrosystem. The past heroic energy substitutions researched by IIASA are used as a guide to the future. The major barriers to and potential of global solar energy for an increasingly industrialized society to the year 2100 are identified and evaluated.

Primary aspects considered are the resource magnitude, economic, macrosystem behavior, social, environmental, and health characteristics. These aspects reveal no basic obstacle to putting the global energy system on a solar basis within an appropriate transition time.

The outstanding unique characteristic of possible solar futures lies in the wide range of possible social characteristics, or what one might call "switch-hitting" ability of solar, which sharply sets it apart from long-range conventional options. Also, the interdependence it could foster between "North" and "South" nations is quite unique. Resource magnitude is potentially enormous (80-280 TWyr/yr), economic and macrosystem behavior looks reasonable, and environmental and health effects seem very attractive. -

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Professional Paper)
Research Programs: Energy Program (ENP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:50
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:10

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