Sustainable energy development: The present (2009) situation and possible paths to the future☆
Review articleOpen access

AbstractRecent estimates and forecasts of the oil, gas, coal resources and their reserve/production ratio, nuclear and renewable energy potential, and energy uses are surveyed. A brief discussion of the status, sustainability (economic, environmental and social impact), and prospects of fossil, nuclear and renewable energy use, and of power generation (including hydrogen, fuel cells, micropower systems, and the futuristic concept of generating power in space for terrestrial use), is presented. Comments about energy use in general, with more detailed focus on insufficiently considered areas of transportation and buildings are brought up. Ways to resolve the problem of the availability, cost, and sustainability of energy resources alongside the rapidly rising demand are discussed. The author’s view of the promising energy R&D areas, their potential, foreseen improvements and their time scale, and last year’s trends in government funding are presented.

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