Energy demand and supply, 1900-2100

Schrattenholzer, L. (1997). Energy demand and supply, 1900-2100. Science Vision 3 (1) 39-57.

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One basic work of the IIASA project on Environmentally Compatible Energy Strategies (ECS) is a detailed assessment of specific technologies that might play a role in scoring well, with respect to the conflicting objectives of development and environmental protection. The result of this assessment is a technology inventory, labeled CO2DB (Messner and Strubegger, 1991). CO2DB is a data base, implemented on personal computers, including technology descriptions, their environmental and economic characteristics as well as information on technology diffusion (temporal and geographical) and transfer. Currently, CO2DB contains information on more than 1,400 technologies.

A recent synthesis of ECS work in the past years was the creation, in collaboration with the World Energy Council (WEC), of long-term global energy scenarios (IIASA-WEC 1995). Among others, the IIASA-WEC scenarios aim to assess how these technologies might be put into widespread use, to minimize the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs), and to serve the development of all world regions. This paper describes selected results of the IIASA-WEC scenarios, and summarizes the basis on which they are built. In this way, readers can form their own opinion on the results. We begin by analyzing past energy demand and supply, together with its most important determinants. The main aspect of their scenarios is that (i) fear of exhaustion of resources seems to have been exaggerated in the wake of the oil price hike of the 1970s and (ii) each link of the causal chain between greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and subsequent damage is not sufficiently understood to allow precise forecasting, and it seems wise for policy-makers to act on the principal of making mid-course corrections to their chosen energy strategies on the basis of new knowledge and R&D for energy-efficient technologies.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Environmentally Compatible Energy Strategies (ECS)
Bibliographic Reference: Science Vision; 3(1):39-57 (July-September 1997)
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Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:08
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:15

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