Wednesday, November 30, 2005

31 Years after the First Energy Crisis - the Need for an Energy Strategy

Since the first oil shock 31 years ago, has the world moved towards a more sustainable energy system? Or has a proliferation of energy policies, regulations, enthusiasms and philosophies resulted in a hive of activity, with little progress? Does Europe lack an energy strategy?

This paper defines 11 dimensions for a national or regional energy policy, and 13 technologies to realise these objectives. It further explores the link between energy technologies and policy objectives, according to a matrix.

The table demonstrates that there is no such thing like a perfect energy source, though energy efficiency and non-intermittent renewables come pretty close to this ideal.

The table equally demonstrates that sufficient options are available to achieve almost any strategic objective. Pursuing a wide portfolio of options appears a wise choice to ensure economically efficient and stable energy prices.

A secure, clean, safe and healthy energy supply is no longer a technology development challenge, but largely a matter of investment in infrastructure and deployment of modern solutions on a massive scale. Developed countries can afford almost any energy system, but cost of energy and competitiveness become major attention areas.

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