How can we use the latest science and solar panel technology to prepare for an electricity-hungry future while limiting our impact on the planet?
This was the fundamental question behind WGSI’s Energy 2030 Summit. From June 5-9, 2011 Summit participants shortlisted the most promising solar energy technologies for the generation, distribution, and storage of electricity.
The goal of the Summit was not to produce a technical assessment of any one technology, nor to produce a detailed list of policy prescriptions for governments or corporations. Rather, the Summit sought to merge the collective talents and knowledge of its participants to stimulate long-term creative thinking about how science and solar panel technology might most effectively be harnessed to help address one of most complex challenges for the century ahead.
Together the participants outlined a roadmap to their implementation in the decades ahead. Their recommendations for investment and focus culminated in the Energy 2030 Blueprint.
Over the past century, the electrification of our homes, factories, cities, and industries has transformed societies and improved the lives of billions of people. Where reliable electric energy is available, it has fostered education, improved personal and public health, and become a cornerstone of modern economies and enabled a flourishing of the arts.
However, our journey towards harnessing the full potential of electricity for the benefit of all humanity is far from complete. By 2050, global primary energy demand is expected to reach 30 terawatts. Meanwhile, global trends in technology development, information access, personal mobility and urbanisation are placing unprecedented demand on our electrical infrastructure.
Increasing our global electricity supply to meet this growing demand, while reducing carbon emissions, is a monumental undertaking. Yet current national commitments to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide fall far short of those needed to limit climatic risks. One of the clear ways to meet this goal is by harnessing solar energy, but that is not the only technology available that we can utilize.
The imperative to build a globally sustainable and electrified future means we need to rethink, and then refashion, the ways we produce and use electrical energy. In this essential endeavour, emerging science and new solar technologies have the potential to unlock previously unimagined pathways for the evolution of today’s electricity systems.
ENERGY 2030 BLUEPRINT
Imagine a world with abundant, clean energy. How different would our human civilization be with fewer energy limitations – less risk of climate change, no peak oil, and more renewable ways to provide power to an exploding global population?
To explore this future, WGSI published the Energy 2030 Blueprint– a roadmap of some of the highest impact energy technologies that could scale over the coming decades, along with detailed implementation strategies that apply the latest scientific and technological thinking. It includes:
- An energy ‘ecosystem’ point-of-view to approaching possible, lower carbon technologies
- Potential pathways to help advance research, development and implementation of long-term energy solutions
- Technical details that help convey the complexities, challenges and opportunities posed by a few transitional technologies and systems
ENERGY 2030 IN THE NEWS
This summit was covered by the following news publications:
- COSMOS Magazine – Rethinking energy: A global blueprint (April 2012 Issue)
- Nature News – Energy summit unveils blueprint for change (February 20, 2012)
- Science NOW – A Practical Blueprint for a Low-Carbon Electric World? (February 20, 2012)
- Globe and Mail – Plotting a road map for a low-carbon future (February 16, 2012)
- Policy Options – Imagining a lower-carbon, electrified future (February 9, 2012)