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Evolution of the Transition to a World Driven by Renewable Energy

[+] Author Affiliations
Brian M. Fronk, Richard Neal, Srinivas Garimella

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Paper No. ES2008-54361, pp. 147-153; 7 pages
  • ASME 2008 2nd International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the Heat Transfer, Fluids Engineering, and 3rd Energy Nanotechnology Conferences
  • ASME 2008 2nd International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Volume 1
  • Jacksonville, Florida, USA, August 10–14, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division and Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4319-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3832-3
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


The world’s energy supplies will continue to be pressured as population grows and the standard of living rises in the developing world. A move by the rest of the world towards energy consumption rates on par with the United States is most probably unsustainable. An examination of population trends, current energy utilization rates, and estimated reserves shows that a major worldwide transition to renewable resources is necessary in the next one hundred years. This paper examines one possible scenario of how energy usage and renewable power generation must evolve in this time period. As the global standard of living increases, energy consumption in developing nations will begin to approach those of the developed world. A combination of energy conservation and efficiency improvements in developed nations will be needed to push the worldwide energy consumption to 200 million BTU per person per year. Fossil fuel resources will be exhausted or become prohibitively expensive, necessitating the development of renewable energy resources. At this projected steady state population and energy consumption, the required contribution of each type of renewable resource can be calculated. Comparing these numbers to the current renewable capacities illustrate the enormous effort that must be made in the next century.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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