We are facing a global energy crisis caused by world population growth, an escalating increase in demand, and continued dependence on fossil-based fuels for generation. It is widely accepted that increases in greenhouse gas concentration levels, if not reversed, will result in major changes to world climate with consequential effects on our society and economy. This is just the kind of intractable problem that Purdue University’s Global Policy Research Institute seeks to address in the Purdue Studies in Public Policy series by promoting the engagement between policy makers and experts in fields such as engineering and technology. Major steps forward in the development and use of technology are required. In order to achieve solutions of the required scale and magnitude within a limited timeline, it is essential that engineers be not only technologically-adept but also aware of the wider social and political issues that policy-makers face. Likewise, it is also imperative that policy makers liaise closely with the academic community in order to realize advances. This book is designed to bridge the gap between these two groups, with a particular emphasis on educating the socially-conscious engineers and technologists of the future. In this accessibly-written volume, central issues in global energy are discussed through interdisciplinary dialogue between experts from both North America and Europe. The first section provides an overview of the nature of the global energy crisis approached from historical, political, and sociocultural perspectives. In the second section, expert contributors outline the technology and policy issues facing the development of major conventional and renewable energy sources. The third and final section explores policy and technology challenges and opportunities in the distribution and consumption of energy, in sectors such as transportation and the built environment. The book’s epilogue suggests some future scenarios in energy distribution and use.
The move towards sustainable energy production and use is one the most challenging and profound changes currently taking place in the world’s established and emerging economies. Energy and Innovation: Structural Change and Policy Implications presents a series of informative case studies from Norway, the United Kingdom, Poland, the United States, Russia, Japan, and China that demonstrate how the pace of sustainable energy production differs by country. Part 1 examines the challenges of increasing sustainable energy production. The main themes include differences between countries in the European Union concerning energy consumption, energy security, smart metering, and resistance to change. Part 2 presents challenges to innovation in different economic systems. The authors contrast developed European and North American systems with emerging economies such as that of China. Their focus is on improving the innovation capabilities of firms and organizations through enhanced access to knowledge. Solutions include corporate collaborations with the academic sector and access to investment capital. Part 3 surveys the range of industry sectors that are adopting environmentally-friendly solutions. There is a special focus on start-up companies that are working to bring new energy-production technologies to the market.