|● Security of supply|
|● 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 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.
Along with energy conservation and the more efficient use of the world's remaining fossil fuels, renewables look like they can help the world 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 like this are explored in Part 3 of this book. 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.
The emphasis in this chapter is on renewable energy, but this is not to suggest that the energy conservation side is less important: they represent two sides of the same coin. There is no point in pushing ahead with new