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The energy challenge

DOI: 10.1007/s13203-012-0010-x

Keywords: Energy demand,Energy supply,Energy efficiency,Fossil fuels,Renewable energy,Nuclear energy

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Abstract:

This paper provides an overview of the enormous challenge of meeting future energy demand in an environmentally responsible manner. A portfolio approach is required, which must include more solar, wind, hydro, bio and marine energy wherever sensible, and demand reduction (through better planning, especially in the world’s expanding cities), increased efficiency, more nuclear power, and (if feasible, safe and economically competitive) carbon capture and storage. In the longer term, the world will need much more solar power, advanced nuclear fission, and fusion power—if it can be made to work reliably and competitively. The policy priority is to put a (high) price on carbon in the context of a global agreement (through a tax, or cap and trade with a floor price to provide certainty for investors), which is easily said, but very hard to do.

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