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The Energy Innovation Imperative: Addressing Oil Dependence, Climate Change, and Other 21st Century Energy Challenges

Abstract: 
If the recent historical rate of reduction of energy of intensity of GDP worldwide, 1% per year, were to persist over the entire century, the amount of non-carbon-emitting energy supply needed to be on the IPCC 550-ppmv stabilization trajectory would be 800 exajoules per year in 2050. This is to be compared with 100 exajoules from these sources (renewables, nuclear and advanced fossil-fuel technologies with carbon capture and sequestration) in 2004 (with 400 exajoules from fossil-fuels in that same year). Enormous efforts both on increasing the pace of energy-intensity reductions worldwide and on accelerating the deployment of non-carbon-emitting energy sources in place of the conventional fossil-fuel technologies is thus needed. Currently nothing remotely like the needed scale of effort on either front is happening today across the globe.
Author: 
bverdini@mit.edu
Institution: 
Harvard Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy
Year: 
2006
Input By: 
Bruno Verdini Trejo
Affiliation: 
MIT
Region(s): 
Industry Focus: 
Energy
Datatype(s): 
Policies