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13 - Energy systems in transition

from Part Two - Exploring images of the future

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2010

Jan Rotmans
Affiliation:
National Institute of Public Health and Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands
Bert de Vries
Affiliation:
National Institute of Public Health and Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands
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Summary

In this chapter we present simulation experiments and outcomes of the energy submodel TIME. First, the major controversies and uncertainties are discussed. Next, the cultural perspectives are introduced with reference to world energy, after which we clarify the way in which these are linked to assumptions and model routes. Some results of sensitivity and uncertainty analyses are also given. We discuss a few energy dystopias which could emerge if, for a given population-economy scenario, the world view and the management style within the energy system are discordant. Some conclusions are presented about the plausibility of and risks related to the utopian energy futures. The impacts of the emissions from fossil fuel combustion on water, land, and element cycles are discussed in the next three chapters.

Introduction

In 1886 Jevons warned in his book ‘The coal question’ about the rapid depletion of British coal fields threatening the British Empire. Numerous appraisals of coal, oil and gas availability have been made since then, many of them for strategic reasons. Environmental issues and the two oil crises in the 1970s have intensified the debate on fossil fuel use. Later on, it has been broadened by incorporating demand side management and renewable supply options and by including macro-economic aspects. Controversies and uncertainties about the future development of the world energy system abound.

Type
Chapter
Information
Perspectives on Global Change
The TARGETS Approach
, pp. 263 - 290
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1997

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