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Green Energy for All

Updated on March 28, 2013
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Global Energy Assessment Hopeful!

During 6 years no less than 300 scientists and 200 reviewers from 70 countries have collaborated on the Global Energy Assessment which is due to appear in a few days time.

This 1900-page manuscript is going to be the 'Energy Bible' for us all in the forthcoming years. So what does this Global Energy Assessment entail? Its basic question is whether our ever increasing world population will have sufficient energy resources.

Fortunately, the answer is a positive one, albeit with an important proviso: We need to undertake action NOW! The longer we wait, the more expensive it will be to make the necessary adaptations.

Currently, fossil energy sources are still determining our daily consumption of energy. Whereas this used to be wood in the 1850s, the consumption of coals has been rising since then. Oil took over as the main energy source around 1960. Nowadays the order of energy consumption is as follows: 1) oil 2) coals 3) gass 4) wood and then 5) nuclear and energy produced by water.

We will be needing much more energy in the near future. Let's have a look at what is happening in the world. In India hundred millions people are longing to drive their own car. The poor in Asia would love to eat meat more frequently. Airconditioning systems are increasingly popular with rich African families.

This is not all. Meanwhile the world population is growing to a staggering 9.000.000.000 people, all of whom need energy. In addition each of us needs increasingly more energy! Worldwide the energy consumption is increasing by 2%. Most of the energy comes from fossil resources that deplenish rapidly, with the exception of coal. Solar energy provides us with most potential because of its sheer unlimited energy.

Provided we make changes quickly it is still possible to make energy accessible to the entire world population by 2015 in a way that is enduring and lasting. We need to especially focus on green energy sources, such as wind energy, solar chargers, solar panels etc. It is my belief that we should not wait for our world leaders, but that we should all undertake action as individuals.

Let’s hope our world leaders will all read the report or have their advisory commitees read it for them. In that case we will all work together on this big cause. Too much is at stake. Business as usual is no longer possible. The report can be found via iiasa.ac.at

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