Energy Technologies for the 21st Century-The Roles of Renewable Energy

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Renewable energy sources, originating for the most part from the sun's radiant energy, are ubiquitous, long-lived, essentially free of carbon emissions, and have the potential to contribute significantly to mounting energy needs of the globe. In terms of percentage increase in installed capacity, renewable energy collectively is the fastest growing energy source. Even assuming that the developing world raises its standard of living considerably, the technical potential of renewable energies is more than enough to meet annual global needs several times over a century from now. Realizing even some of this potential involves overcoming obstacles in generation costs, proximity to ... continued below

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Schock, R N July 29, 2005.

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Renewable energy sources, originating for the most part from the sun's radiant energy, are ubiquitous, long-lived, essentially free of carbon emissions, and have the potential to contribute significantly to mounting energy needs of the globe. In terms of percentage increase in installed capacity, renewable energy collectively is the fastest growing energy source. Even assuming that the developing world raises its standard of living considerably, the technical potential of renewable energies is more than enough to meet annual global needs several times over a century from now. Realizing even some of this potential involves overcoming obstacles in generation costs, proximity to markets, and in many cases intermittency, as well as others. From the perspective of work on a wide range of energy technologies by both the World Energy Council and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the potential, timing, and investment costs for renewable energy technologies in the 21st century have become clearer. The marketplace, based on cost and performance, will determine which technologies are commercialized along with government policies that at a minimum do not hinder their introduction, and--at a maximum--may encourage more rapid and successful introduction. A wide range of possible scenarios (34) based on factors that include energy availability, demographics, economic development, competition, environmental constraints, and most importantly technical learning, place some constraints on the range of possible energy requirements. Most scenarios indicate that renewable energy in total is likely to be as much as half the world's supply in 100 years, but most of that growth is expected in the period 50 to 100 years from now--if critical advancements and investments are made over the next 50 years.

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PDF-file: 13 pages; size: 0.4 Mbytes

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  • Presented at: World Federation of Scientists International Seminars on Planetary Emergencies, Erice, Italy, Aug 20 - Aug 23, 2005

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  • Report No.: UCRL-CONF-214249
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 875935
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc877133

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  • July 29, 2005

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 23, 2016, 6:26 p.m.

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Schock, R N. Energy Technologies for the 21st Century-The Roles of Renewable Energy, article, July 29, 2005; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc877133/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.