Presentation on theme: "Prometheus, you are glad that you have outwitted me and stolen fire...but I will give men as the price for fire an evil thing in which they may all be."— Presentation transcript:
Prometheus, you are glad that you have outwitted me and stolen fire...but I will give men as the price for fire an evil thing in which they may all be glad of heart while they embrace their own destruction. -- Zeus to Prometheus, Hesiod, Works and Days 55 Energy Transitions: An Overview Cutler J. Cleveland Dept. of Geography and Environment Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer Range Future Boston University
Energy Transition A particularly significant set of changes to the patterns of energy use in a society Changes in sources (wood to coal) Changes in society (rural to urban; affluence) Changes in environment (deforestation to climate change) Changes in convertors (lamps and candles to light bulb)
U.S. Energy Transitions 0 25 50 75 100 180018251850187519001925195019752000 wood animal feed coal oil gas electricity Percent of total energy use
Outline 1. Energy transitions are social transitions. a. Energy and economic well-being go hand-in-hand. b. These transitions take a long time 1. Energy transitions are social transitions. a. Energy and economic well-being go hand-in-hand. b. These transitions take a long time 3. Energy is a fundamental driver of environmental change and human health at local, regional, and global scales. 5. We must engineer and manage the next energy transition. 4. The transition from oil and carbon is unlike all previous transitions.
The Epoch of Fossil Fuel Exploitation (after Hubbert, 1969) 0 -5 -4-3 -2 +1 +2+3 +4 +5 Iron in Middle East Stonehenge Built Parthenon completed Pyramids constructed Mayan culture Inquisition Black Death Magellan's Circumnavigation Steam Engine 100 200 300 Trillion kwh per year
Conditions for the Next Transition 1. The environmental frontier is closed. 2. Scale of transition is large. 3.Quality of alternatives is generally lower. 4. Energy markets drive decisions. 5. Practical and ethical imperative to reduce poverty.