Sustainable energy strategy
|• Compensating for intermittency|
|• Conservation versus renewables|
|• Scale and pace of deployment|
A shift to a sustainable energy system would require a number of technical, economic and strategic issues to be addressed, not least the fact that some renewable energy sources are intermittent. This chapter looks at the current state of play on sustainable energy development and then at some of the emerging issues, including the problem of intermittency, the debate over whether to focus on energy conservation or on new energy supply technologies, and the question of the pace and timescale required for the development of sustainable energy systems.
The strategic state of play
Along with energy conservation and the more efficient use of the world’s remaining fossil fuels, renewables look as if they may help the move towards a sustainable energy supply and demand system. Of course whether complete sustainability can be achieved in this way remains unclear: it depends on a range of issues, not least the level of economic growth that is being aimed at around the world. Wider issues such as these are explored in Part 3. But clearly the success or otherwise of any attempt to move toward sustainability will depend on the degree to which novel technologies in the renewable energy and energy conservation field can be developed and deployed. This chapter attempts briefly to summarise the current state of play in terms of sustainable energy development and then to look at some possible future lines of development. The emphasis is on renewable energy, but this is not to suggest that energy conservation is less important. There is no point in