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Energies  2010 

Energy Resources in the Future

DOI: 10.3390/en3040686

Keywords: energy resources, fossil fuels, solar energy, geothermal energy, nuclear energy, fission, fusion

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Abstract:

Recent statistics indicate that in 2005 the world consumed about 0.5 ZJ (ZJ = 10 21 Joules) of energy. If one assumes that the future world population stabilizes at 10 billions, and the people consume a similar amount of energy per capita to that of the people in the presently developed countries, the world will need about 2 ZJ a year. A recent survey of the available future energy resources indicates that the energies recoverable from coal, oil and gas are only 23 ZJ, 6.7 ZJ and 6.4 ZJ, respectively. Other energy resources such as solar and wind have problems of fluctuation due to the weather conditions. However, the energy expected from known Uranium resources by breeder reactors is 227 ZJ and that from Lithium by fusion reactors is more than 175 ZJ. Therefore, it is important to make efforts to develop and use breeder reactors and fusion reactors to supply a major part of the energy need in the future.

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