Keywords: energy demand and supply, nuclear, fossil and renewable energies, energy vectors, energy and environment, energy and economy
Meeting the energy challenges of the 21st century
The first half of the 21st century will have to meet two major challenges supply energy to everyone in an equitable manner, while preserving their environment both locally and globally. Energy efficiency and conservation are essential factors in meeting these challenges, but are in no way sufficient. The paper analyses the pros and cons of each source of energy, and the role each could play. Some fundamental strategic choices are examined, together with their consequences and the way in which they could be implemented. The overall conclusion is that there is no single miracle solution, but a whole panoply of diverse options, adapted to the specific demand, supply and environmental problems of the different countries. Notwithstanding possible breakthroughs in CO2 sequestration, nuclear fusion, etc., one can expect natural gas, nuclear fission and a few renewable energies to play a major role. It also seems urgent to accelerate work on alternatives to oil for transport.