Energy end-use technologies for the 21st century

Gehl, S., Haegermark, H., Larsen, H., Morishita, M., & Nakicenovic, N. ORCID: (2005). Energy end-use technologies for the 21st century. In: Risø International Energy Conference 2005, 23 - 25 May 2005, Roskilde, Denmark.

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The World Energy Council’s recent study examined the potential of energy end-use technologies and of research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) into these technologies on a global scale. Surprises are likely, but nevertheless, current research and development offer a picture of what might happen in the future as new technologies face the competition of the marketplace. Given the breadth of energy end-use technologies and the differences between regions and economic conditions, the study focused on technologies that appear most important from today’s vantage point. Globally, robust research and development followed by demonstrations of new end-use technologies can potentially save at least 110 EJ/year by 2020 and over 300 EJ/year by 2050. If achieved, this translates to worldwide energy savings of as much as 25% by 2020 and over 40% by 2050, over what may be required without these technologies. It is almost certain that no single technology, or even a small set of technologies, will dominate in meeting the needs of the globe in any foreseeable timeframe.

Absent a significant joint government–industry effort on end-use technology RD&D, the technologies needed will not be ready for the marketplace in the timeframes required with even the most pessimistic scenarios. Based on previous detailed analyses for the United States, an international expenditure of $4 billion per year seems more than justified. The success of new energy end-use technologies depends on new RD&D investments and policy decisions made today. Governments, in close cooperation with industry, must carefully consider RD&D incentives that can help get technologies from the laboratory or test-bed to market.

Any short-term impact areas are likely to benefit from focused RD&D. These include electricity transmission and distribution, distributed electricity production, transportation, the production of paper and pulp, iron and steel, aluminum, cement and chemicals, and information and communication technologies. For long-term impact, significant areas include fuel cells, hydrogen fuel, and integrated multi-task energy systems.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Programs: Transitions to New Technologies (TNT)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:18
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:19

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