skip to main content

Title: Energy Technologies for the Markets of the 21st Century

Energy is the fuel of economic development. Yet, this is lost on the over 2 billion people in the world without access to commercial energy, most in rural areas. Meeting their needs, along with the growing needs of the population already with access, provides very large markets for energy and energy services. Studies have repeatedly shown that technology is the single most important historical driver for productivity growth. Technology is also at the heart of the goals spelled out in the World Energy Council's Statement 2000 [l]: accessibility of reliable and affordable modern energy services for all the world's inhabitants; availability of high-quality reliable delivered energy; and acceptability of energy resources produced and used in harmony with the local, regional, and global environment. With this in mind, the World Energy Council (WEC) at the time of the 17th Congress in Houston decided to identify and examine some of the energy technologies that might sustain the world in the 21st century. This effort would examine steps that might be taken to ensure that these new technologies are available to the marketplace, and what role governments and industry might play to ensure this availability. The WEC launched a major study in 1999,more » Energy Technologies for the 21st Century, conducted by a study group composed of international energy experts [2]. The first part of the study examined trends in public and private research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) spending over the past 15 years to determine what has been happening with the resource base for future development. Improvements in energy technologies are attained through active RD&D performed now, in advance of their implementation. Energy RD&D also provides insurance against potential impacts such as climate change, oil price shocks, and disruptions in the energy distribution system [3]. This part of the study sought to answer the questions: What is the current situation with respect to energy RD&D and what are the trends? and Are we spending more or less and do these trends vary between countries or regions? The second part of the study began a process to identify those technologies that might be key in the 21st century and what might be necessary in expenditure, time, and policies to help bring them to market. The emphasis is on what is possible and when from today's vantage, not what will necessarily happen actual developments are unpredictable and it is impossible to foresee the course of actual technology development or economic growth. Nevertheless, using knowledge about current technologies and their projected development, investment costs, and likely time to commercialization, some light might be shed on what could happen over a wide range of possible scenarios.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
15013469
Report Number(s):
UCRL-JC-145575
TRN: US200601%%473
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 18th World Energy Congress, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Oct 21 - Oct 25, 2001
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, CA
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; AVAILABILITY; CLIMATES; COMMERCIALIZATION; ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; ENERGY SPECTRA; IMPLEMENTATION; INSURANCE; MARKET; PRICES; PRODUCTIVITY; RURAL AREAS; WORLD ENERGY COUNCIL