Keywords: energy systems, environment, environmental Kuznets curve, EKC, fossil fuels, global issues, Hubbert curve, environmental pollution, sustainable development, sustainability
From Hubbert to Kuznets: on the sustainability of the current energy system
The current energy system is largely based on the use of fossil fuels. This poses serious constraints on the actual capacity of the economic systems to comply with two related conditions of sustainability, in terms of pollution and scarcity of natural resources. To examine this issue more deeply, the present work focuses attention on two relations, the Hubbert Curve and the Environmental Kuznets Curve, that are strictly related and can provide important indications on the actual satisfaction of the aforementioned conditions. From the analysis of the two curves, it emerges the necessity of a transition towards a different energy model that relies much more heavily on the use of renewable resources. For this reason, particular attention is devoted in the article to the factors that have slowed down so far such a transition process.