Energy in the 21st Century: New Challenges and Goals

Bennett, L., Mueller, T., Byam, J.W., Miremadi, A., & Sinyak, Y. (1993). Energy in the 21st Century: New Challenges and Goals. IIASA Collaborative Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: CP-93-003

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In the next century energy will remain the pillar of social development and wealth. The demand for energy will continue to increase apace with economic growth in the medium term and population growth in the longer term. In several countries, development planning strategies might also conflict sharply with environmental concerns, thus complicating the implementation of timely environmental protection policy strategies. However, early introduction and deployment of safe and clean technologies could reduce future economic burdens such as compensation payments for health and the environmental costs of energy use.

The major goal in developing long-term energy projections is to identify those principal trends and tendencies that will prevail over the time period under consideration rather than to define exactly the various factors constituting the scenario or system being studied. Whereas long-term projections can concentrate on many different aspects, the major focus is on the possible exhaustion of cheap energy resources and the environmental and climatic impact of energy systems. Scenarios and options for global and regional energy systems are addressed in this paper with the aim of identifying a smooth transition from the present structure based primarily on fossil fuels to a future structure based on the more efficient and balanced use of fossil fuels, nuclear energy and renewable energy.

It is clear that energy resources are available in sufficient quantity in the medium term to support national development and individual well-being. The energy mix adopted by each country will depend on the economical and ecological use of the indigenous resource base and global/regional constraints on greenhouse gas emissions. Trade-offs between environmental impact and economic development must be explored and incorporated into national energy policies.

The challenge of the next decades will place greater emphasis on energy sources and power generation technologies that have the potential to minimize damage to health and the environment, while at the same time being economically viable and deployable on a broad scale so as to meet global energy demands. Energy availability, security of supply, and the pricing structure of primary as well as final energy sources are important issues on the decision-makers' agendas. Improvements in technology transfer, financial mechanisms, and new more effective institutional frameworks are required, if a global environmentally compatible energy strategy is to be achieved for the next century.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Collaborative Paper)
Research Programs: Environmentally Compatible Energy Strategies (ECS)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:03
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:14

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