To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

Sustainable energy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sustainable energy involves increasing production of renewable energy, making safe energy universally available, and energy conservation. Clockwise from top left: Concentrated solar power with molten salt heat storage in Spain, wind energy in South Africa, clean cooking in Ethiopia, public transport in Singapore

The use of energy is considered sustainable if it meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. Definitions of sustainable energy typically include environmental aspects such as greenhouse gas emissions, and social and economic aspects such as energy poverty.

Meeting the world's need for energy a sustainable way is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. The global energy system, which is 85% based on fossil fuels, is responsible for over 70% of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. The burning of fossil fuels and biomass is a major contributor to air pollution, which causes an estimated 7 million deaths each year. More than 750 million people lack access to electricity and over 2.6 billion rely on polluting fuels such as wood or charcoal to cook.

Renewable energy sources such as wind, hydroelectric power, solar, and geothermal energy are generally far more sustainable than fossil fuel sources. However, some renewable energy projects, such as the clearing of forests for the production of biofuels, can cause severe environmental damage. The role of non-renewable energy sources has been controversial. For example, nuclear power is a low-carbon source and has a safety record comparable to wind and solar,[1] but its sustainability has been debated due to concerns about nuclear proliferation, radioactive waste and accidents. Switching from coal to natural gas has environmental benefits, but may lead to a delay in switching to more sustainable options. Carbon capture and storage technology can be built into power plants to remove their carbon dioxide emissions, but is expensive and has seldom been implemented.

Limiting global warming to levels consistent with the Paris Agreement will require system-wide transformation of the way energy is produced, transported, stored, and consumed. To accommodate larger shares of variable renewable energy, electrical grids require flexibility through infrastructure such as energy storage. A sustainable energy system is likely to see a shift towards far more use of electricity in sectors such as transport and heating, energy conservation, and the use of hydrogen produced by renewables or from fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage. Some technologies that are critical for eliminating energy-related greenhouse gas emissions are still immature.

Wind and solar energy sources generated 8.5% of worldwide electricity in 2019, a share that has grown rapidly. Costs of these energy sources, and of batteries, have fallen rapidly and are projected to continue falling due to innovation and economies of scale. Pathways exist to provide universal access to electricity and to clean cooking technologies in ways that are compatible with climate goals, while bringing major health and economic benefits to developing countries. Well-designed government policies that promote energy system transformation can lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality simultaneously, and in many cases can also increase energy security. Policy approaches can include carbon-pricing and energy-specific policies such as renewable portfolio standards and phase-outs of fossil fuel subsidies.

Definitions and background

Energy in the context of sustainable development

The concept of sustainable development, for which energy is a key component, was described by the United Nations Brundtland Commission in its 1987 report Our Common Future. It defined sustainable development as development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."[2] This description of sustainable development has since been referenced in many definitions and explanations of sustainable energy.[3][4][5][2] No single interpretation of how the concept of sustainability applies to energy has gained worldwide acceptance.[6] The UN Economic Commission for Europe, and various scholars in the field, include three main dimensions of sustainability in their working definitions of sustainable energy:

  • The environmental dimension includes greenhouse gas emissions, impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems, the production of hazardous waste and toxic emissions,[6] water consumption,[7] and depletion of non-renewable resources.[5] Energy sources with low environmental impact are sometimes referred to as green energy or clean energy.
  • The economic and social dimensions include having reliable energy be affordable for all people,[6][5] and energy security so that each country has constant access to sufficient energy.[6][8]

The energy transition to meet the world's needs for electricity, heating, cooling, and transport in a sustainable way is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century, both in terms of meeting the needs of the present and in terms of effects on future generations.[9][10] Improving energy access in the least-developed countries, and making energy cleaner, are key to achieving most of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which cover issues ranging from climate action to gender equality.[11] Sustainable Development Goal 7 calls for "access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all" by 2030.[12]

Environmental issues

Graph showing growth of energy technologies. Coal shrank lightly between 2014 and 2019, whereas oil and gas grew. Nuclear and hydro had a slow growth, in contrast to other renewables.
Renewable energy sources (a part of sustainable energy approaches) have increased from 2000 to 2019 but coal, oil, and natural gas remain the primary global energy sources.[13]

The current energy system contributes to many environmental issues, including climate change, air pollution, biodiversity loss, the release of toxins into the environment, and water scarcity. Energy production and consumption are responsible for 72% of annual human-caused greenhouse gas emissions as of 2014. Generation of electricity and heat contributes 31% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, use of energy in transport contributes 15%, and use of energy in manufacturing and construction contributes 12%. An additional 5% is released through processes associated with fossil fuel production, and 8% through various other forms of fuel combustion.[14][15]

The burning of fossil fuels and biomass is a major source of air pollutants that are harmful to human health.[16][17] The World Health Organization estimates that outdoor air pollution causes 4.2 million deaths per year,[18] and indoor air pollution causes 3.8 million deaths per year.[19] Around 91% of the world's population lives with levels of air pollution that exceed WHO recommended limits.[20] Limiting global warming to 2 °C could save about a million of those lives per year by 2050, whereas limiting global warming to 1.5 °C could save millions while increasing energy security and reducing poverty.[21][22][23] Multiple analyses of U.S. decarbonization strategies have found that quantified health benefits can significantly offset the costs of implementing these strategies.[24] The combustion of coal releases precursor elements which form into ground-level ozone and acid rain, especially if the coal is not cleaned before combustion.[25]

Environmental impacts extend beyond the byproducts of combustion. Oil spills at sea harm marine life and may cause fires which release toxic emissions.[26] Around 10% of global water use goes to energy production, mainly for cooling thermal energy plants. In already dry regions, this contributes to water scarcity. Bioenergy production, coal mining and processing, and oil extraction also require large amounts of water.[27]

Energy poverty

Map of people with access to energy. Lack of access is most pronounced in India, Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia.
World map showing where people without access to electricity lived in 2016 – mainly in sub-Saharan Africa

As of 2019, 770 million people do not have access to electricity, three quarters of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa.[28] As of 2020, more than 2.6 billion people[29] in developing countries rely on burning polluting fuels such as wood, animal dung, coal, or kerosene for cooking. Furthermore, a large fraction of the world population cannot afford sufficient heating or cooling for their homes, including many in richer countries.[30]

Cooking with polluting fuels causes harmful indoor air pollution, resulting in an estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million deaths annually,[31][32] and also contributes significantly to outdoor air pollution.[33] Health effects are concentrated among women, who are likely to be responsible for cooking, and young children.[33] The work of gathering fuel exposes women and children to safety risks and often consumes 15 or more hours per week, constraining their available time for education, rest, and paid work.[33] Serious local environmental damage, including desertification, can be caused by excessive harvesting of wood and other combustible material.[34]

Reliable and affordable energy, particularly electricity, is essential for health care, education, and economic development. In health clinics, electricity is required for operation of medical equipment, refrigeration of vaccines and medications, and lighting,[35] but a 2018 survey in six Asian and African countries found that half of health facilities had no or poor access to electricity.[36] Households without electricity typically use kerosene lamps for lighting, which creates toxic fumes.[37]

Energy conservation

Countries such as the U.S. and Canada use twice as much energy per capita as Japan or western Europe, and 100 times as much energy per capita as some African countries.
Global energy usage is highly unequal. High income countries such as the United States and Canada use 100 times as much energy per capita as some of the least developed countries in Africa.

Increasing energy efficiency is one of the most important ways to reduce energy-related pollution while also delivering economic benefits. For some countries, efficiency can improve energy security by reducing dependence on fossil fuel imports. Efficiency has the potential to slow the growth of energy demand to allow rising clean energy supplies to make deep cuts in fossil fuel use.[38] Energy efficiency and renewable energy are often considered the twin pillars of sustainable energy.[39][40]

The energy intensity of the global economy (the energy needed per unit of GDP) has been gradually decreasing for decades, so that growth in energy demand is slowly becoming decoupled from economic growth.[41] Improvements in energy efficiency slowed in the years between 2015 and 2018, in part because of consumer preferences for bigger cars. Globally, governments did not strongly increase their ambitions in energy efficiency policy over this period either.[42]

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that 40% of greenhouse gas emission reductions needed to fulfill the Paris agreement can be achieved by increasing energy efficiency.[43][42] Climate change mitigation pathways that are in line with these goals show energy usage remaining around the same between 2010 and 2030, and then increase slightly by 2050.[44] Policies to improve efficiency can include building codes, performance standards, and carbon pricing.[45]

Behavioural change is another important way to conserve energy, especially in transport. Business flights can be replaced by videoconferencing, and many urban trips can be made by cycling, walking, or public transport rather than by car.[46] Government policies to develop energy-efficient infrastructure can encourage changes in transport modes.[46] Individual consumers can also choose to conserve energy by, for example, reducing their air travel.[46]

Energy sources

Renewable energy sources

Renewable energy capacity additions in 2020 expanded by more than 45% from 2019, including a 90% rise in global wind capacity (green) and a 23% expansion of new solar photovoltaic installations (yellow).[47]
Renewable energy capacity additions in 2020 expanded by more than 45% from 2019, including a 90% rise in global wind capacity (green) and a 23% expansion of new solar photovoltaic installations (yellow).[47]

Renewable energy technologies are essential contributors to sustainable energy, as they generally contribute to global energy security and reduce dependence on fossil fuel resources, thus mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.[48] The terms sustainable energy and renewable energy are often used interchangeably.[49] However, renewable energy projects sometimes raise significant sustainability concerns, such as risks to biodiversity when areas of high ecological value are converted to bioenergy production or wind or solar farms.[50][51]

Hydropower is the largest renewable electricity source while solar and wind have seen substantial growth and progress over the last few years; photovoltaic solar and onshore wind are the cheapest forms of adding new power generation capacity in most countries.[52][53] For more than half of the 770 million people who currently lack access to electricity, decentralised renewable energy solutions such as solar-powered mini-grids are likely to be the cheapest method of providing access by 2030.[28]


Solar energy is Earth's main source of energy, a clean resource, and abundantly available in many regions.[54] In 2019, solar power provided around 3% of global electricity,[55] mostly through solar panels based on photovoltaic cells (PV). The panels are mounted on top of buildings or used in solar parks connected to the electrical grid. Costs of solar PV have dropped rapidly, which is driving a strong growth in worldwide capacity.[56] The cost of electricity from new solar farms is competitive with, or in many places cheaper than, electricity from existing coal plants.[57] Various projections of future energy use identify solar PV as one of the main sources of energy generation in a sustainable mix.[58][59]

Concentrated solar power uses mirrors to produce heat, which drives a heat engine. Because the heat is typically stored, this type of solar power is dispatchable: it can be produced when needed.[60][61] In additional to electricity production, solar energy is also used more directly: solar thermal heating systems are applied for hot water production, heating buildings, drying and desalination.[62] Globally in 2018, solar energy fulfilled 1.5% of final energy demand for heating and cooling.[63]

Wind power

As a clean energy source, wind has been an important driver of development over millennia, providing transport over sea and mechanical energy for industrial processes and land reclamation.[64] In 2019, wind turbines provided approximately 6% of global electricity.[55] Electricity from onshore wind farms is often cheaper than existing coal plants, and competitive with natural gas and nuclear.[57] Wind turbines can also be placed in the ocean, where winds are steadier and stronger than on land but construction and maintenance costs are higher. According to some analyst forecasts, offshore wind power will become cheaper than onshore wind in the mid-2030s.[65]

Onshore wind farms, often built in wild or rural areas, have a visual impact on the landscape.[66] While both bats and to a lesser extent birds are killed by collisions, these impacts are smaller than from other infrastructure such as windows and transmission lines.[67][68] The noise and flickering light created by the turbines can be annoying, and constrain construction near densely populated areas. Wind power, in contrast to nuclear and fossil fuel plants, does not consume water to produce power.[69] Little energy is needed for wind turbine construction compared to the energy produced by the wind power plant itself.[70] Turbine blades are not fully recyclable; research into methods of manufacturing easier-to-recycle blades is ongoing.[71]


Guri Dam, a hydroelectric dam in Venezuela
Guri Dam, a hydroelectric dam in Venezuela

Hydroelectric plants convert the energy of moving water into electricity. On average, hydropower ranks among the energy sources with the lowest levels of greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy produced, but levels of emissions vary enormously between projects.[72] In 2019, hydropower supplied 16% of the world's electricity, down from a high of nearly 20% in the mid-to-late 20th century.[73][74] It produced 60% of electricity in Canada and nearly 80% in Brazil.[73]

In conventional hydropower, a reservoir is created behind a dam. Conventional hydropower plants provide a highly flexible, dispatchable electricity supply and can be combined with wind and solar power to provide peak load and to compensate when wind and sun are less available.[75]

In most conventional hydropower projects, the biological matter that becomes submerged in the flooding of the reservoir decomposes, becoming a source of carbon dioxide and methane.[76] These greenhouse gas emissions are particularly large in tropical regions.[77] In turn, deforestation and climate change can reduce energy generation from hydroelectric dams.[75] Depending on location, the implementation of large-scale dams can displace residents and cause significant local environmental damage.[75]

Run-of-the-river hydroelectricity facilities generally have less environmental impact than reservoir-based facilities, but their ability to generate power depends on river flow which can vary with daily and seasonal weather conditions. Reservoirs provide water quantity controls that are used for flood control and flexible electricity generation output while also providing security during drought for drinking water supply and irrigation.[78]


refer to caption
Cooling towers at a geothermal power plant in Larderello, Italy

Geothermal energy is produced by tapping into the heat that exists below the earth's crust.[79] Heat can be obtained by drilling into the ground and then carried by a heat-transfer fluid such as water, brine or steam.[79] Geothermal energy can be harnessed for electricity generation and for heating. The use of geothermal energy is concentrated in regions where heat extraction is economical: a combination of heat, flow and high permeability is needed.[80] Together with solar thermal, geothermal provided 2.2% of worldwide demand for heating in buildings in 2019.[81]

Geothermal energy is a renewable resource because thermal energy is constantly replenished from neighbouring hotter regions.[82] The greenhouse gas emissions of geothermal electric stations are on average 45 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour of electricity, or less than 5 percent of that of conventional coal-fired plants.[83] Geothermal energy carries a risk of inducing earthquakes, needs effective protection to avoid water pollution, and emits toxic emissions which can be captured.[84]


Kenyan dairy farmer lighting a biogas lamp
Kenyan farmer lighting a biogas lamp. Biogas produced from biomass is a renewable energy source that can be used for cooking or to provide light.

Biomass is a versatile and common source of renewable energy. If the production of biomass is well-managed, carbon emissions can be significantly offset by the absorption of carbon dioxide by the plants during their lifespans.[85] Biomass can either be burned to produce heat and to generate electricity or converted to modern biofuels such as biodiesel and ethanol.[86][87] Biofuels are often produced from corn or sugar cane. They are used to power transport, often blended with liquid fossil fuels.[85]

Use of farmland for growing biomass can result in less land being available for growing food. Since photosynthesis only captures a small fraction of the energy in sunlight, and crops require significant amounts of energy to harvest, dry, and transport, a lot of land is needed to produce biomass.[88] If biomass is harvested from crops, such as tree plantations, the cultivation of these crops can displace natural ecosystems, degrade soils, and consume water resources and synthetic fertilizers.[89][90] Approximately one-third of all wood used for fuel is harvested unsustainably.[91] In some cases, these impacts can actually result in higher overall carbon emissions compared to using petroleum-based fuels.[90][92]

In the United States, corn-based ethanol has replaced around 10% of motor gasoline, which requires a significant proportion of the yearly corn harvest.[93][94] In Malaysia and Indonesia, the clearing of forests to produce palm oil for biodiesel has led to serious social and environmental effects, as these forests are critical carbon sinks and habitats for endangered species.[95]

More sustainable sources of biomass include crops grown on soil unsuitable for food production, algae and waste.[85] If the biomass source is agricultural or municipal waste, burning it or converting it into biogas provides a way to dispose of this waste.[89] Second-generation biofuels, produced from non-food plants, reduce competition with food production, but may have other negative effects including trade-offs with conservation areas and local air pollution.[85]

Carbon capture and storage technology can be used to capture emissions from bioenergy power plants. In this process, known as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), the overall process can result in net carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere. However, the BECCS process can also result in net positive emissions depending on how the biomass material is grown, harvested, and transported. Deployment of BECCS at scales described in some climate change mitigation pathways would also require converting large amounts of cropland.[96]

Marine energy

Marine energy represents the smallest share of the energy market. It encompasses tidal power, which is approaching maturity, and wave power, which is earlier in its development. Two tidal barrage systems, in France and in Korea, make up 90% of total production. While single marine energy devices pose little risk to the environment, the impacts of multi-array devices are less well known.[97]

Non-renewable energy sources

Fossil fuel switching and mitigation

For a given unit of energy produced, the life-cycle greenhouse-gas emissions of natural gas are around 40 times the emissions of wind or nuclear energy, but much less than that of coal. Natural gas produces around half the emissions of coal when used to generate electricity, and around two-thirds the emissions of coal when used to produce heat. Reducing methane leaks in the process of extracting and transporting natural gas further decreases its climate impact.[98] Natural gas produces less air pollution than coal.[99]

Building gas-fired power plants and gas pipelines is promoted as a way to phase out coal and wood burning pollution, and increase energy supply in some African countries with fast growing populations or economies,[100] however this practice is controversial. Developing natural gas infrastructure risks the creation of carbon lock-in and stranded assets, where new fossil infrastructure either commits to decades of carbon emissions, or has to be written off prematurely.[101]

The greenhouse gas emissions of fossil fuel and biomass power plants can be significantly reduced through carbon capture and storage (CCS), however deployment of this technology is still very limited, with only 21 large-scale CCS plants in operation worldwide as of 2020.[102] The CCS process is expensive, with costs depending considerably on the location's proximity to suitable geology for carbon dioxide storage.[65][103] CCS can be retrofitted to existing power plants, but is more energy-intensive in that case.[104] Most studies use a working assumption that CCS can capture 85–90% of the CO
emissions from a power plant.[105][106] If 90% of emitted CO
is captured from a coal-fired power plant, its uncaptured emissions would still be many times greater than the emissions of nuclear, solar, or wind energy per unit of electricity produced.[107][108] Since coal plants using CCS would be less efficient, they would require more coal and thus increase the pollution associated with mining and transporting coal.[109]

Nuclear power

Nuclear power plants have been used since the 1950s to produce a steady low-carbon supply of electricity, without creating local air pollution. In 2020, nuclear power plants in over 30 countries generated 10% of global electricity[110] and nearly 50% of low-carbon power in USA and European Union. Globally, nuclear power is the second largest source of low-carbon power after hydro-power.[111] Nuclear power uses little land per unit of energy produced, compared to the major renewables.[112]

Nuclear power's lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions (including the mining and processing of uranium), are similar to the emissions from renewable energy sources.[113] Reducing the time and cost of building new nuclear plants have been goals for decades, but progress has been limited.[114][115]

There is considerable controversy over whether nuclear power can be considered sustainable, with debates revolving around the risk of nuclear accidents, the generation of radioactive nuclear waste, and the potential for nuclear energy to contribute to nuclear weapon proliferation. These concerns spurred the anti-nuclear movement. Public support for nuclear energy is often low as a result of safety concerns, however for each unit of energy produced, nuclear energy is far safer than fossil fuel energy and comparable to renewable sources.[116] The uranium ore used to fuel nuclear fission plants is a non-renewable resource, but sufficient quantities exist to provide a supply for hundreds of years.[117] Climate change mitigation pathways that are consistent with ambitious goals typically see an increase in power supply from nuclear, but growth is not strictly necessary.[118] Experts from the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the scientific expert arm of the EU, stated in April 2021 that nuclear power is "sustainable".[119]

Various new forms of nuclear energy are in development, hoping to address the drawbacks of conventional plants. Nuclear power based on thorium, rather than uranium, may be able to provide higher energy security for countries that do not have a large supply of uranium.[120] Small modular reactors may have several advantages over current large reactors: it should be possible to build them faster, and their modularization would allow for cost reductions via learning-by-doing.[121] Several countries are attempting to develop nuclear fusion reactors, which would generate very small amounts of waste and no risk of explosions.[122]

Energy system transformation

Emissions produced by sector in decreasing order: industry, land use, building, transport and other
Emissions produced by different economic sectors, including emissions generated by electricity and heat production, according to the 2014 IPCC Fifth Assessment Report

Keeping global warming to below 2 °C will require a complete transformation of the way energy is produced, transported, stored, and consumed.[123] As of 2019, 85% of the world's energy needs are met by burning fossil fuels.[123] To maximize the use of renewable energy sources, energy usage technologies such as vehicles must become powered by electricity or hydrogen.[124] Electricity systems will also need to become more flexible to accommodate variable renewable energy sources.[125]

The International Energy Agency states that further innovation in the energy sector, such as in battery technologies and carbon-neutral fuels, is needed to reach net-zero emissions in 2050.[126] Development of new technologies requires research and development, demonstration and cost reductions via deployment.[126]


Electric induction oven
An electric induction stove; Ecuador is switching all cooking stoves to electric induction models, which are more sustainable and sometimes cheaper than subsidized LPG.[127]

Electrification is a key part of using energy sustainably. Many options exist to produce electricity sustainably, but sustainably producing fuels or heat at large scales is relatively difficult.[128] As of 2018, about a quarter of all electricity generation came from renewable sources other than biomass, and electricity generation has seen a much faster uptake of renewables than the heat and transport sectors.[129]

Massive electrification in the heat and transport sector may be needed to make these sectors sustainable, with heat pumps and electric vehicles playing important roles.[130] Ambitious climate policy would see a doubling of energy consumed as electricity by 2050, from 20% in 2020.[131] For cooking, electric induction stoves may provide an efficient solution.[127]

Infrastructure for generating and storing renewable electricity requires minerals and metals, such as cobalt and lithium for batteries and copper for solar panels.[132] Some of this demand can be met by recycling if product lifecycles are well-designed, however achieving net zero emissions would still require major increases in mining for 17 types of metals and minerals.[132] The markets for these commodities are sometimes dominated by a small group of countries or companies, raising geopolitical concerns.[133] Cobalt, for instance, is mined in Congo, a politically unstable region. More diverse geographical sourcing may ensure the stability of the supply-chain.[134][135]

Managing variable energy sources

Buildings in the Solar Settlement at Schlierberg, Germany, produce more energy than they consume. They incorporate rooftop solar panels and are built for maximum energy efficiency.
Buildings in the Solar Settlement at Schlierberg, Germany, produce more energy than they consume. They incorporate rooftop solar panels and are built for maximum energy efficiency.

Solar and wind are variable renewable energy sources that supply electricity intermittently depending on the weather and the time of day.[136][137] Most electrical grids were constructed for non-intermittent energy sources such as coal-fired power plants.[138] As larger amounts of solar and wind energy are integrated into the grid, changes have to be made to the energy system to ensure that the supply of electricity is matched to demand.[139] In 2019, these sources generated 8.5% of worldwide electricity, a share that has grown rapidly.[55]

There are various ways to make the electricity system more flexible. In many places, wind and solar production are complementary on a daily and a seasonal scale: There is more wind during the night and in winter, when solar energy production is low.[139] Linking different geographical regions through long-distance transmission lines allows for further cancelling out of variability.[140] Energy demand can be shifted in time through energy demand management and the use of smart grids, matching the times when variable energy production is highest. With grid energy storage, energy produced in excess can be released when needed.[139] Further flexibility could be provided from sector coupling, i.e. coupling the electricity sector to the heat and mobility sector via power-to-heat-systems, heat pumps and district heating as well as electric vehicles to utilize flexibility options outside the power sector.[141]

Building overcapacity for wind and solar generation can help to ensure that enough electricity is produced even during poor weather; during optimal weather energy generation may have to be curtailed. The final demand-supply mismatch may be covered by using dispatchable energy sources such as hydropower, bioenergy, or natural gas.[142]

Energy storage

refer to caption
Construction of salt tanks to store thermal energy

Energy storage helps overcome barriers for intermittent renewable energy, and is therefore an important aspect of a sustainable energy system.[143] The most commonly used storage method is pumped-storage hydroelectricity, which requires locations with large differences in height and access to water.[143] Batteries, and specifically lithium-ion batteries whose costs have been coming down rapidly, are also deployed widely.[144] Batteries typically store electricity for short periods; research is ongoing into technology with sufficient capacity to last through seasons.[145] Pumped hydro storage and power-to-gas (converting electricity to gas, and back) with capacity for multi-month usage has been implemented in some locations.[146][147]


Hydrogen can be burned to produce heat or can power fuel cells to generate electricity, with zero emissions at the point of usage. The overall lifecycle emissions of hydrogen depend on how it is produced. Very little of the world's current supply of hydrogen is currently created from sustainable sources. Nearly all of it is produced from fossil fuels, which results in high greenhouse gas emissions. With carbon capture and storage technologies, a large fraction of these emissions could be removed.[148]

Hydrogen can be produced through electrolysis, by using electricity to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen; if the electricity is generated sustainably, the resultant fuel will also be sustainable. This process is currently more expensive than creating hydrogen from fossil fuels, and the efficiency of energy conversion is inherently low.[148] Hydrogen can be produced when there is a surplus of intermittent renewable electricity, then stored and used to generate heat or to re-generate electricity.[149] It can be further transformed into synthetic fuels such as ammonia and methanol, or into feedstock for the chemical industry, indirectly electrifying those applications.[150]

Innovation in hydrogen electrolysers could make large-scale production of hydrogen from electricity more cost-competitive.[151] There is potential for hydrogen to play a significant role in decarbonising energy systems because in certain sectors, replacing fossil fuels with direct use of electricity would be very difficult.[148] Hydrogen fuel can produce the intense heat required for industrial production of steel, cement, glass, and chemicals. Steelmaking is considered the use of hydrogen most effective at limiting greenhouse gas emissions in the short-term.[152]

Energy usage technologies


Group of cyclists in Vancouver, Canada
People using a bike lane in Vancouver, Canada; cycling is a sustainable method of transport

There are multiple ways to make transport more sustainable. Public transport frequently emits fewer greenhouse gases per passenger than personal vehicles, especially with high occupancy.[153][154] Short-distance flights can be replaced by (high-speed) rail journeys, which use much less fuel.[155][156] Transport can be made cleaner and healthier by stimulating nonmotorised transport such as walking and cycling, particularly in cities.[157][158] The energy efficiency of cars has increased as a consequence of technological progress,[159] but shifting to electric vehicles is an important further step towards decarbonising transport and reducing air pollution.[130]

Making freight transport sustainable is challenging.[160] Hydrogen vehicles may be an option for larger vehicles such as lorries which have not yet been widely electrified because weight of batteries needed for long-distance travel.[161] Many of the techniques needed to lower emissions from shipping and aviation are still early in their development, with ammonia a promising candidate for shipping.[162] Aviation biofuel may be one of the better uses of bioenergy, providing that some carbon is captured and stored during manufacture of the fuel.[163]

Heating and cooling

The outdoor section of a heat pump
The outdoor section of a heat pump

For heating buildings, alternatives to burning fossil fuels and biomass include electrification (heat pumps, or the less efficient electric heater), geothermal, solar thermal, and waste heat.[164][165][166] Seasonal thermal energy storage has been implemented in some high-latitude regions for household heat.[167] Heat pumps currently provide only 5% of space and water heating requirements globally, but he IEA estimates that they could provide over 90%.[168]

In densely populated urban areas, space for heat pumps may be limited and district heating may better meet demand.[169] While traditionally using mostly fossil fuels, modern and cold district heating systems are designed to use lower temperatures, high shares of renewable energy such as central solar heating and geothermal energy and waste heat to provide low-carbon heating.[170][171] The costs of all these technologies strongly depend on location, and uptake of the technology sufficient for deep decarbonisation requires stringent policy interventions.[166]

Solving energy poverty for cooling in a sustainable way requires passive building design and urban planning, in addition to air conditioning, which requires electrification and additional power demand and is therefore not always accessible for poorer households. Some air conditioning units use refrigerants which warm the climate: replacing those with climate-friendly refrigerants, as required under the internationally agreed Kigali Amendment, would reduce the climate impacts of cooling.[172]


Over one third of energy use is by industry. Most of that energy is deployed in thermal processes: generating steam, drying, and refrigeration. The share of renewable energy in industry was 14.5% in 2017, which mostly include low-temperature heat supplied by bioenergy and electricity. The more energy-intensive activities in industry have the lowest shares of renewable energy, as they face limitations in generating heat at temperatures over 200 °C (390 °F).[173]

For some industrial processes, such as steel production, commercialization of technologies that have not yet been built or operated at full scale will be needed to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.[174] The production of plastic, cement and fertilizers also requires significant amounts of energy, with limited possibilities available to decarbonise.[175] A switch to a circular economy would make industry more sustainable, as it involves recycling more and thereby using less energy compared to extracting new raw materials.[176]

Universal access to energy

refer to caption
A woman in rural Rajasthan (India) collects firewood for cooking. Firewood is labour-intensive to gather and causes harmful indoor and outdoor air pollution.

With responsible planning and management, pathways exist for providing universal access to electricity and clean cooking by 2030 in ways that are consistent with climate goals.[177][124] Off-grid and mini-grid systems based on renewable energy, such as small solar PV installations that generate and store enough electricity for a village, are important solutions for rural areas.[177] Wider access to reliable electricity would lead to less use of kerosene lighting and diesel generators, which are currently common in the developing world.[178]

A high priority in global sustainable development is to reduce the health and environmental problems caused by cooking with biomass, coal, and kerosene.[179] Alternatives include electric stoves, solar cookers, stoves that use clean fuels, and improved cookstoves that burn biomass more efficiently and with less pollution. Depending on location, clean fuels for cooking are typically liquified petroleum gas (LPG), locally-produced biogas, piped natural gas (PNG), or alcohol.[180] The World Health Organization encourages further research into biomass stove technology, as no widely-available biomass stoves meet recommended emissions limits.[181]

Transitioning to cleaner cooking methods is expected to either raise greenhouse gas emissions by a minimal amount or decrease them, even if the replacement fuels are fossil gases. There is evidence that LPG and PNG has a smaller climate effect than the combustion of solid fuels, which emits methane and black carbon.[182] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated in 2018, "The costs of achieving nearly universal access to electricity and clean fuels for cooking and heating are projected to be between 72 and 95 billion USD per year until 2030 with minimal effects on GHG emissions."[183]

According to a 2020 report by the IEA, current and planned policies would still leave over 660 million people without electricity by 2030.[28] Efforts to improve access to clean cooking fuels and stoves have barely kept up with population growth, and current and planned policies would still leave 2.4 billion people without access in 2030.[29] Historically, several countries have made rapid economic gains through coal usage, particularly in Asia.[124] However there remains a window of opportunity for many poor countries and regions to "leapfrog" fossil fuel dependency by developing their energy systems based on renewables, given adequate international investment and knowledge transfer.[124]


Electrified heat and transport are key parts of investment for the renewable energy transition.
Electrified heat and transport are key parts of investment for the renewable energy transition.

Mobilising sufficient finance for innovation and investment is a prerequisite for the energy transition.[184] The IPCC estimates that to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, US$2.4 trillion would need to be invested in the energy system each year between 2016 and 2035. Most studies project that these costs, which are equivalent to 2.5 percent of world GDP, would be small compared to the economic and health benefits.[185] Average annual investment in low-carbon energy technologies and energy efficiency would need to be upscaled by roughly a factor of six by 2050 compared to 2015, overtaking fossil investments by around 2025.[186] Underfunding is particularly strong for the least developed countries.[187]

The UNFCCC estimates that climate financing totalled $681 billion in 2016,[188] with most of this being private-sector investment in renewable energy deployment, public-sector investment in sustainable transport, and private-sector investment in energy efficiency.[189] Fossil fuel funding and subsidies form a significant barrier to the energy transition.[190][184] Direct global fossil fuel subsidies reached $319 billion in 2017, and $5.2 trillion when indirect costs such as air pollution are priced in.[191] Ending these could lead to a 28% reduction in global carbon emissions and a 46% reduction in air pollution deaths.[192]

The International Labour Organization estimates that efforts to limit global warming to 2 degrees would result in net job creation in most sectors of the economy.[193] It predicts that 24 million new jobs would be created in areas such as renewable electricity generation, improving energy-efficiency in buildings, and the transition to electric vehicles, while 6 million jobs in the fossil fuel industry would be lost.[193]

In 2020, the International Energy Agency warned that the economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could prevent or delay private-sector investments in green energy.[194][195] The pandemic could potentially spell a slowdown in the world's clean energy transition if no action is undertaken, but also offers possibilities for a green recovery.[196]

Government policies

For new cars, China will allow sales of only new energy vehicles such as electric vehicles, beginning in 2035.[197]
For new cars, China will allow sales of only new energy vehicles such as electric vehicles, beginning in 2035.[197]

Well-designed government policies that promote energy system transformation can lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality simultaneously, and in many cases can also increase energy security.[198] Carbon pricing, energy-specific policies, or a mixture of both are necessary to limit global warming to 1.5 °C.[199]

Carbon taxes provide a source of revenue that can be used to lower other taxes[200] or to help lower-income households afford higher energy costs.[201] Carbon taxes have encountered strong political pushback in some jurisdictions, whereas energy-specific policies tend to be politically safer.[202] As of 2019, carbon pricing covers about 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions.[203]

Energy-specific programs and regulations have historically been the mainstays of efforts to reduce fossil fuel emissions.[202] Some governments have committed to dates for phasing out coal-fired power plants, ending new fossil fuel exploration, requiring that new passenger vehicles produce zero emissions, and requiring new buildings to be heated by electricity instead of gas.[204] Renewable portfolio standards have been enacted in several countries requiring utilities to increase the percentage of electricity they generate from renewable sources.[205][206]

Governments can accelerate energy system transformation by leading the development of infrastructure such as electrical distribution grids, smart grids and hydrogen pipelines.[207] In transport, appropriate infrastructure and incentives can make travel more efficient and less car-dependent.[198] Urban planning to discourage sprawl can reduce energy use in local transport and buildings while enhancing quality-of-life.[198]

The scale and pace of policy reforms that have been initiated as of 2020 are far less than needed to fulfill the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.[208][209] Governments can make the transition to sustainable energy more politically and socially feasible by ensuring a just transition for workers and regions that depend on the fossil fuel industry to ensure that they have alternative economic opportunities.[124] In addition to domestic policies, greater international cooperation will be required to accelerate innovation and to assist poorer countries in establishing a sustainable path to full energy access.[210]

See also


  1. ^ Ritchie, Hannah (10 February 2020). "What are the safest and cleanest sources of energy?". Our World in Data. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  2. ^ a b Kutscher, Milford & Kreith 2019, pp. 5–6.
  3. ^ The Open University. "An introduction to sustainable energy". OpenLearn. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  4. ^ Golus̆in, Popov & Dodić 2013, p. 8.
  5. ^ a b c Hammond, Geoffrey P.; Jones, Craig I. "Sustainability criteria for energy resources and technologies". In Galarraga, González-Eguino & Markandya (2011), pp. 21–47.
  6. ^ a b c d UNECE 2020, pp. 11-13
  7. ^ Kutscher, Milford & Kreith 2019, pp. 1-2.
  8. ^ Kutscher, Milford & Kreith 2019, pp. 3–5.
  9. ^ Evans, Robert L. (2007). Fueling our Future : An Introduction to Sustainable Energy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 3. ISBN 9780521865630. OCLC 144595567.
  10. ^ Kessides, Ioannis N.; Toman, Michael (28 July 2011). "The Global Energy Challenge". World Bank Blogs. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  11. ^ Deputy Secretary-General (6 June 2018). "Sustainable Development Goal 7 on Reliable, Modern Energy 'Golden Thread' Linking All Other Targets, Deputy-Secretary-General Tells High-Level Panel". United Nations (Press release). Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  12. ^ "Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy – SDG Tracker". Our World in Data. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  13. ^ Friedlingstein, Pierre; Jones, Matthew W.; O'Sullivan, Michael; Andrew, Robbie M.; et al. (2019). "Global Carbon Budget 2019". Earth System Science Data. 11 (4): 1783–1838. doi:10.5194/essd-11-1783-2019. ISSN 1866-3508.
  14. ^ "Global Historical Emissions". Climate Watch. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  15. ^ World Resources Institute (June 2015). "CAIT Country Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Sources and Methods" (PDF). Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  16. ^ Watts, Nick; Amann, Markus; Arnell, Nigel; Ayeb-Karlsson, Sonja; et al. (2021). "The 2020 report of The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: responding to converging crises". The Lancet. 397 (10269): 151. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32290-X. ISSN 0140-6736. PMID 33278353.
  17. ^ United Nations Development Programme (4 June 2019). "Every breath you take: The staggering, true cost of air pollution". United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  18. ^ World Health Organization. "Ambient air pollution". World Health Organization. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  19. ^ World Health Organization. "Household air pollution". World Health Organization. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  20. ^ World Health Organization. "Air pollution overview". World Health Organization. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  21. ^ World Health Organization 2018, p. 27: "Meeting the targets of the Paris climate agreement would be expected to save over one million lives a year from air pollution alone by 2050, according to the most recent assessment."
  22. ^ Vandyck, T.; Keramidas, K.; Kitous, A.; Spadaro, J.V.; et al. (2018). "Air quality co-benefits for human health and agriculture counterbalance costs to meet Paris Agreement pledges". Nature Communication. 9 (1): 4939. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-06885-9. PMC 6250710. PMID 30467311.
  23. ^ IPCC SR15 2018, p. 97: "Limiting warming to 1.5°C can be achieved synergistically with poverty alleviation and improved energy security and can provide large public health benefits through improved air quality, preventing millions of premature deaths. However, specific mitigation measures, such as bioenergy, may result in trade-offs that require consideration."
  24. ^ Gallagher, C.L.; Holloway, T. (2020). "Integrating Air Quality and Public Health Benefits in U.S. Decarbonization Strategies". Front Public Health. 8: 563358. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2020.563358. PMC 7717953. PMID 33330312.
  25. ^ Pudasainee, Deepak; Kurian, Vinoj; Gupta, Rajender. "Coal: Past, Present, and Future Sustainable Use". In Letcher (2020), pp. 30, 32–33.
  26. ^ Soysal & Soysal 2020, p. 118.
  27. ^ Soysal & Soysal 2020, pp. 470–472.
  28. ^ a b c "Access to electricity – SDG7: Data and Projections – Analysis". IEA. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  29. ^ a b "Access to clean cooking – SDG7: Data and Projections – Analysis". IEA. October 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  30. ^ Bouzarovski, Stefan; Petrova, Saska (2015). "A global perspective on domestic energy deprivation: Overcoming the energy poverty–fuel poverty binary". Energy Research & Social Science. 10: 31–40. doi:10.1016/j.erss.2015.06.007. ISSN 2214-6296.
  31. ^ Ritchie, Hannah; Roser, Max (2019). "Access to Energy". Our World In Data. Retrieved 1 April 2021. According to the Global Burden of Disease study 1.6 million people died prematurely in 2017 as a result of indoor air pollution ... But it's worth noting that the WHO publishes a substantially larger number of indoor air pollution deaths..
  32. ^ "Household air pollution and health: fact sheet". WHO. 8 May 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  33. ^ a b c World Health Organization 2016, pp. VII–XIV.
  34. ^ Tester 2012, p. 504.
  35. ^ ECREE 2015, pp. 14-27.
  36. ^ United Nations 2020, p. 38.
  37. ^ World Health Organization 2016, p. 49.
  38. ^ Huesemann, Michael H., and Joyce A. Huesemann (2011). Technofix: Why Technology Won't Save Us or the Environment, Chapter 5, "In Search of Solutions: Efficiency Improvements", New Society Publishers, ISBN 978-0-86571-704-6.
  39. ^ Cabezas, Heriberto; Huang, Yinlun (2015). "Issues on water, manufacturing, and energy sustainability". Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy. 17 (7): 1727–1728. doi:10.1007/s10098-015-1031-9. ISSN 1618-9558. S2CID 94335915.
  40. ^ Prindle & Maggie 2007, p. iii.
  41. ^ IEA, IRENA, UNSD, World Bank, WHO 2021, p. 12.
  42. ^ a b Energy Efficiency 2019 – Analysis (Report). International Energy Agency. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  43. ^ Market Report Series: Energy Efficiency 2018 – Analysis (Report). International Energy Agency. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  44. ^ IPCC SR15 2018, 2.4.3.
  45. ^ Mundaca, Luis; Ürge-Vorsatz, Diana; Wilson, Charlie (2019). "Demand-side approaches for limiting global warming to 1.5°C". Energy Efficiency. 12 (2): 343–362. doi:10.1007/s12053-018-9722-9. ISSN 1570-6478. S2CID 52251308.
  46. ^ a b c International Energy Agency 2021, pp. 68–69.
  47. ^ "Renewable Energy Market Update 2021 / Renewable electricity / Renewables deployment geared up in 2020, establishing a "new normal" for capacity additions in 2021 and 2022". International Energy Agency. May 2021. Archived from the original on 11 May 2021.
  48. ^ IEA 2007, p. 3.
  49. ^ Jenden, James; Lloyd, Ellen; Stenhouse, Kailyn; Strange, Maddy; et al. (28 April 2020). "Renewable and sustainable energy". Energy Education. University of Calgary. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  50. ^ Santangeli, Andrea; Toivonen, Tuuli; Pouzols, Federico Montesino; Pogson, Mark; et al. (2016). "Global change synergies and trade-offs between renewable energy and biodiversity". GCB Bioenergy. 8 (5): 941–951. doi:10.1111/gcbb.12299. ISSN 1757-1707.
  51. ^ Rehbein, Jose A.; Watson, James E. M.; Lane, Joe L.; Sonter, Laura J.; et al. (2020). "Renewable energy development threatens many globally important biodiversity areas". Global Change Biology. 26 (5): 3040–3051. doi:10.1111/gcb.15067. ISSN 1365-2486. PMID 32133726.
  52. ^ Ritchie, Hannah (2019). "Renewable Energy". Our World in Data. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  53. ^ IEA (2020). Renewables 2020 Analysis and forecast to 2025 (Report). p. 12. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  54. ^ Soysal & Soysal 2020, p. 406.
  55. ^ a b c "Wind & Solar Share in Electricity Production Data". Enerdata. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  56. ^ Kutscher, Milford & Kreith 2019, p. 36.
  57. ^ a b "Levelized Cost of Energy and of Storage". Lazard. 19 October 2020. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  58. ^ Victoria, Marta; Haegel, Nancy; Peters, Ian Marius; Sinton, Ron; et al. (2021). "Solar photovoltaics is ready to power a sustainable future". Joule. 5 (5): 1041–1056. doi:10.1016/j.joule.2021.03.005. ISSN 2542-4351.
  59. ^ IRENA 2021, pp. 19, 22.
  60. ^ Kutscher, Milford & Kreith 2019, pp. 35–36.
  61. ^ "Solar energy". International Renewable Energy Agency. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  62. ^ REN21 2020, p. 124.
  63. ^ REN21 2020, p. 38.
  64. ^ Soysal & Soysal 2020, p. 366.
  65. ^ a b Evans, Simon (27 August 2020). "Wind and solar are 30–50% cheaper than thought, admits UK government". Carbon Brief. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  66. ^ Szarka 2007, p. 176.
  67. ^ Wang, Shifeng; Wang, Sicong (2015). "Impacts of wind energy on environment: A review". Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 49: 437–443. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2015.04.137. ISSN 1364-0321.
  68. ^ Soysal & Soysal 2020, p. 215.
  69. ^ Soysal & Soysal 2020, p. 213.
  70. ^ Huang, Yu-Fong; Gan, Xing-Jia; Chiueh, Pei-Te (2017). "Life cycle assessment and net energy analysis of offshore wind power systems". Renewable Energy. 102: 98–106. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2016.10.050. ISSN 0960-1481.
  71. ^ Belton, Padraig (7 February 2020). "What happens to all the old wind turbines?". BBC News. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  72. ^ Schlömer, S.; Bruckner, T.; Fulton, L.; Hertwich, E. et al. "Annex III: Technology-specific cost and performance parameters". In IPCC (2014), p. 1335.
  73. ^ a b Smil 2017b, p. 286.
  74. ^ REN21 2020, p. 48.
  75. ^ a b c Moran, Emilio F.; Lopez, Maria Claudia; Moore, Nathan; Müller, Norbert; et al. (2018). "Sustainable hydropower in the 21st century". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 115 (47): 11891–11898. doi:10.1073/pnas.1809426115. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 6255148. PMID 30397145.
  76. ^ Scherer, Laura; Pfister, Stephan (2016). "Hydropower's Biogenic Carbon Footprint". PLOS ONE. 11 (9): e0161947. Bibcode:2016PLoSO..1161947S. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161947. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 5023102. PMID 27626943.
  77. ^ Almeida, Rafael M.; Shi, Qinru; Gomes-Selman, Jonathan M.; Wu, Xiaojian; et al. (2019). "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions of Amazon hydropower with strategic dam planning". Nature Communications. 10 (1): 4281. Bibcode:2019NatCo..10.4281A. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-12179-5. ISSN 2041-1723. PMC 6753097. PMID 31537792.
  78. ^ Kumar, A.; Schei, T.; Ahenkorah, A.; Caceres Rodriguez, R. et al. "Hydropower". In IPCC (2011), pp. 451,462, 488.
  79. ^ a b László, Erika (1981). "Geothermal Energy: An Old Ally". Ambio. 10 (5): 248–249. JSTOR 4312703.
  80. ^ REN21 2020, p. 97.
  81. ^ REN21 2021, p. 43.
  82. ^ Soysal & Soysal 2020, p. 228.
  83. ^ Moomaw, W.; Burgherr, P.; Heath, G.; Lenzen, M. et al. "Annex II: Methodology". In IPCC (2011), p. 982.
  84. ^ Soysal & Soysal 2020, pp. 228–229.
  85. ^ a b c d Correa, Diego F.; Beyer, Hawthorne L.; Fargione, Joseph E.; Hill, Jason D.; et al. (2019). "Towards the implementation of sustainable biofuel production systems". Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 107: 250–263. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2019.03.005. ISSN 1364-0321.
  86. ^ Kopetz, Heinz (2013). "Build a biomass energy market". Nature. 494 (7435): 29–31. doi:10.1038/494029a. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 23389528.
  87. ^ Demirbas, Ayhan (2008). "Biofuels sources, biofuel policy, biofuel economy and global biofuel projections". Energy Conversion and Management. 49 (8): 2106–2116. doi:10.1016/j.enconman.2008.02.020. ISSN 0196-8904.
  88. ^ Smil 2017a, p. 161.
  89. ^ a b Tester 2012, p. 512.
  90. ^ a b Smil 2017a, p. 162.
  91. ^ World Health Organization 2016, p. 73.
  92. ^ IPCC 2014, p. 616.
  93. ^ "Ethanol explained". US Energy Information Administration. 18 June 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  94. ^ Foley, Jonathan (5 March 2013). "It's Time to Rethink America's Corn System". Scientific American. Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  95. ^ Lustgarten, Abrahm (20 November 2018). "Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  96. ^ National Academies of Sciences, Engineering (2019). Negative Emissions Technologies and Reliable Sequestration: A Research Agenda. Washington, D.C.: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. p. 3. doi:10.17226/25259. ISBN 978-0-309-48452-7. PMID 31120708.
  97. ^ REN21 2020, pp. 103–106.
  98. ^ "The Role of Gas: Key Findings". International Energy Agency. July 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  99. ^ "Natural gas and the environment". US Energy Information Administration. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  100. ^ "Africa Energy Outlook 2019 – Analysis". IEA. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  101. ^ Plumer, Brad (26 June 2019). "As Coal Fades in the U.S., Natural Gas Becomes the Climate Battleground". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  102. ^ Deign, Jason (7 December 2020). "Carbon Capture: Silver Bullet or Mirage?". Greentech Media. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  103. ^ "CCUS in Power – Analysis". IEA. Paris. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  104. ^ Bandilla, Karl W. "Carbon Capture and Storage". In Letcher (2020), p. 688.
  105. ^ Budinis, Sarah (1 November 2018). "An assessment of CCS costs, barriers and potential". Energy Strategy Reviews. 22: 61–81. doi:10.1016/j.esr.2018.08.003. ISSN 2211-467X.
  106. ^ "Zero-emission carbon capture and storage in power plants using higher capture rates – Analysis". IEA. 7 January 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  107. ^ Ritchie, Hannah (10 February 2020). "What are the safest and cleanest sources of energy?". Our World in Data. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  108. ^ Evans, Simon (8 December 2017). "Solar, wind and nuclear have 'amazingly low' carbon footprints, study finds". Carbon Brief. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  109. ^ IPCC SR15 2018,
  110. ^ "Nuclear Power in the World Today". World Nuclear Association. November 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  111. ^ "Global Electricity Review 2021". Ember. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  112. ^ Van Zalk, John; Behrens, Paul (1 December 2018). "The spatial extent of renewable and non-renewable power generation: A review and meta-analysis of power densities and their application in the U.S." Energy Policy. 123: 83–91. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2018.08.023. ISSN 0301-4215.
  113. ^ Schlömer, S.; Bruckner, T.; Fulton, L.; Hertwich, E. et al. "Annex III: Technology-specific cost and performance parameters". In IPCC (2014), p. 1335.
  114. ^ Timmer, John (21 November 2020). "Why are nuclear plants so expensive? Safety's only part of the story". arstechnica. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  115. ^ Dunai, Marton; De Clercq, Geert (24 September 2019). "Nuclear energy too slow, too expensive to save climate: report". Reuters. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  116. ^ Ritchie, Hannah (10 February 2020). "What are the safest and cleanest sources of energy?". Our World in Data. Archived from the original on 29 November 2020. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  117. ^ MacKay, David (2008). Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air. p. 162. ISBN 978-0954452933. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  118. ^ IPCC SR15 2018,
  119. ^ Abnett, Kate (27 March 2021). "EU experts to say nuclear power qualifies for green investment label -document". Reuters. Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  120. ^ Gill, Matthew; Livens, Francis; Peakman, Aiden. "Nuclear Fission". In Letcher (2020), pp. 135–136.
  121. ^ Locatelli, Giorgio; Mignacca, Benito. "Small Modular Nuclear Reactors". In Letcher (2020), pp. 151–169..
  122. ^ McGrath, Matt (6 November 2019). "Nuclear fusion is 'a question of when, not if'". BBC News. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  123. ^ a b United Nations Environment Programme 2019, p. 46.
  124. ^ a b c d e United Nations Environment Programme 2019, pp. 46–55.
  125. ^ United Nations Environment Programme 2019, p. 47.
  126. ^ a b International Energy Agency 2021, p. 15.
  127. ^ a b Nugent, R; Mock, C.N. (2017). "Chapter 7 Household Air Pollution from Solid Cookfuels and Its Effects on Health". In Kobusingye, O.; et al. (eds.). Injury Prevention and Environmental Health. 3rd Edition. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank.
  128. ^ Roberts, David (6 August 2020). "How to drive fossil fuels out of the US economy, quickly". Vox. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  129. ^ REN21 2020, p. 15.
  130. ^ a b Bogdanov, Dmitrii; Farfan, Javier; Sadovskaia, Kristina; Aghahosseini, Arman; et al. (2019). "Radical transformation pathway towards sustainable electricity via evolutionary steps". Nature Communications. 10 (1): 1077. Bibcode:2019NatCo..10.1077B. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-08855-1. PMC 6403340. PMID 30842423.
  131. ^ IPCC SR15 2018,
  132. ^ a b Herrington, Richard (24 May 2021). "Mining our green future". Nature Reviews Materials: 1–3. doi:10.1038/s41578-021-00325-9. ISSN 2058-8437.
  133. ^ Mudd, Gavin M. "Metals and Elements Needed to Support Future Energy Systems". In Letcher (2020), pp. 723–724.
  134. ^ Babbitt, Callie W. (2020). "Sustainability perspectives on lithium-ion batteries". Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy. 22 (6): 1213–1214. doi:10.1007/s10098-020-01890-3. ISSN 1618-9558. S2CID 220351269.
  135. ^ Baumann-Pauly, Dorothée (16 September 2020). "Cobalt can be sourced responsibly, and it's time to act". SWI Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  136. ^ Jerez, Sonia; Tobin, Isabelle; Turco, Marco; María López-Romero, Jose; et al. (2018). "Resilience of the combined wind-plus-solar power production in Europe to climate change: a focus on the supply intermittence". EGUGA: 15424. Bibcode:2018EGUGA..2015424J.
  137. ^ Lave, M.; Ellis, A. (2016). "Comparison of solar and wind power generation impact on net load across a utility balancing area". 2016 IEEE 43rd Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC): 1837–1842. doi:10.1109/PVSC.2016.7749939. ISBN 978-1-5090-2724-8. OSTI 1368867. S2CID 44158163.
  138. ^ "Introduction to System Integration of Renewables – Analysis". IEA. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  139. ^ a b c Blanco, Herib; Faaij, André (2018). "A review at the role of storage in energy systems with a focus on Power to Gas and long-term storage". Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 81: 1049–1086. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2017.07.062. ISSN 1364-0321.
  140. ^ REN21 2020, p. 177.
  141. ^ Andreas Bloess, Wolf-Peter Schill, Alexander Zerrahn: Power-to-heat for renewable energy integration: A review of technologies, modeling approaches, and flexibility potentials. Applied Energy Volume 212, 15 February 2018, Pages 1611-1626, doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.12.073.
  142. ^ International Energy Agency 2020, p. 109.
  143. ^ a b Koohi-Fayegh, S.; Rosen, M.A. (2020). "A review of energy storage types, applications and recent developments". Journal of Energy Storage. 27: 101047. doi:10.1016/j.est.2019.101047. ISSN 2352-152X.
  144. ^ Katz, Cheryl. "The batteries that could make fossil fuels obsolete". BBC. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  145. ^ Herib, Blanco; André, Faaij (2018). "A review at the role of storage in energy systems with a focus on Power to Gas and long-term storage". Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 81: 1049–1086. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2017.07.062. ISSN 1364-0321.
  146. ^ Hunt, Julian D.; Byers, Edward; Wada, Yoshihide; Parkinson, Simon; et al. (2020). "Global resource potential of seasonal pumped hydropower storage for energy and water storage". Nature Communications. 11 (1): 947. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-14555-y. ISSN 2041-1723. PMID 32075965.
  147. ^ Balaraman, Kavya (12 October 2020). "To batteries and beyond: With seasonal storage potential, hydrogen offers 'a different ballgame entirely'". Utility Dive. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  148. ^ a b c Evans, Simon; Gabbatiss, Josh (30 November 2020). "In-depth Q&A: Does the world need hydrogen to solve climate change?". Carbon Brief. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  149. ^ Palys, Matthew J.; Daoutidis, Prodromos (2020). "Using hydrogen and ammonia for renewable energy storage: A geographically comprehensive techno-economic study". Computers & Chemical Engineering. 136: 106785. doi:10.1016/j.compchemeng.2020.106785. ISSN 0098-1354.
  150. ^ IRENA 2021, pp. 12, 22.
  151. ^ International Energy Agency 2021, p. 96.
  152. ^ Blank, Thomas; Molly, Patrick (January 2020). "Hydrogen's Decarbonization Impact for Industry" (PDF). Rocky Mountain Institute.
  153. ^ Bigazzi, Alexander (2019). "Comparison of marginal and average emission factors for passenger transportation modes". Applied Energy. 242: 1460–1466. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2019.03.172. ISSN 0306-2619.
  154. ^ Schäfer, Andreas W.; Yeh, Sonia (2020). "A holistic analysis of passenger travel energy and greenhouse gas intensities". Nature Sustainability. 3 (6): 459–462. doi:10.1038/s41893-020-0514-9. ISSN 2398-9629.
  155. ^ United Nations Environment Programme 2020, p. XXV.
  156. ^ International Energy Agency 2021, p. 137.
  157. ^ Pucher, John; Buehler, Ralph (2017). "Cycling towards a more sustainable transport future". Transport Reviews. 37 (6): 689–694. doi:10.1080/01441647.2017.1340234. ISSN 0144-1647.
  158. ^ Smith, John (22 September 2016). "Sustainable transport". Mobility and Transport - European Commission. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  159. ^ Knobloch, Florian; Hanssen, Steef V.; Lam, Aileen; Pollitt, Hector; et al. (2020). "Net emission reductions from electric cars and heat pumps in 59 world regions over time". Nature Sustainability. 3 (6): 437–447. doi:10.1038/s41893-020-0488-7. ISSN 2398-9629. PMC 7308170. PMID 32572385.
  160. ^ UNECE 2020, p. 28.
  161. ^ Miller, Joe (9 September 2020). "Hydrogen takes a back seat to electric for passenger vehicles". Financial Times. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  162. ^ International Energy Agency 2020, p. 136, 139.
  163. ^ Biomass in a low-carbon economy (Report). UK Committee on Climate Change. November 2018. p. 18. Our analysis points to end-uses that maximise sequestration (storage of carbon) as being optimal in 2050. These include wood in construction and the production of hydrogen, electricity, industrial products and potentially also aviation biofuels, all with carbon capture and storage. Many current uses of biomass are not in line with longterm best-use and these will need to change.
  164. ^ Mortensen, Anders Winther; Mathiesen, Brian Vad; Hansen, Anders Bavnhøj; Pedersen, Sigurd Lauge; et al. (2020). "The role of electrification and hydrogen in breaking the biomass bottleneck of the renewable energy system – A study on the Danish energy system". Applied Energy. 275: 115331. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.115331. ISSN 0306-2619.
  165. ^ Van de Vyver, Ighor; Harvey-Scholes, Calum; Hoggett, Richard (January 2020). "A common approach for sustainable heating strategies for partner cities" (PDF). p. 40.
  166. ^ a b Knobloch, Florian; Pollitt, Hector; Chewpreecha, Unnada; Daioglou, Vassilis; et al. (2019). "Simulating the deep decarbonisation of residential heating for limiting global warming to 1.5°C". Energy Efficiency. 12 (2): 521–550. doi:10.1007/s12053-018-9710-0. ISSN 1570-6478. S2CID 52830709.
  167. ^ Alva, Guruprasad; Lin, Yaxue; Fang, Guiyin (2018). "An overview of thermal energy storage systems". Energy. 144: 341–378. doi:10.1016/ ISSN 0360-5442.
  168. ^ Abergel, Thibaut (June 2020). "Heat Pumps". IEA. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  169. ^ International Energy Agency 2021, p. 145.
  170. ^ Buffa, Simone; Cozzini, Marco; D’Antoni, Matteo; Baratieri, Marco; et al. (2019). "5th generation district heating and cooling systems: A review of existing cases in Europe". Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 104: 504–522. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2018.12.059.
  171. ^ Lund, Henrik; Werner, Sven; Wiltshire, Robin; Svendsen, Svend; et al. (2014). "4th Generation District Heating (4GDH)". Energy. 68: 1–11. doi:10.1016/
  172. ^ Mastrucci, Alessio; Byers, Edward; Pachauri, Shonali; Rao, Narasimha D. (2019). "Improving the SDG energy poverty targets: Residential cooling needs in the Global South". Energy and Buildings. 186: 405–415. doi:10.1016/j.enbuild.2019.01.015. ISSN 0378-7788.
  173. ^ REN21 2020, p. 40.
  174. ^ International Energy Agency 2020, p. 135.
  175. ^ Åhman, Max; Nilsson, Lars J.; Johansson, Bengt (2017). "Global climate policy and deep decarbonization of energy-intensive industries". Climate Policy. 17 (5): 634–649. doi:10.1080/14693062.2016.1167009. ISSN 1469-3062.
  176. ^ Mudd, Gavin M. "Metals and Elements Needed to Support Future Energy Systems". In Letcher (2020), p. 723.
  177. ^ a b IEA 2020, pp. 167–169.
  178. ^ United Nations Development Programme (2016). Delivering Sustainable Energy in a Changing Climate: Strategy Note on Sustainable Energy 2017–2021 (Report). United Nations Development Programme. p. 30. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  179. ^ United Nations (2018). "Accelerating SDG 7 Achievement Policy Brief 02: Achieving Universal Access to Clean and Modern Cooking Fuels, Technologies and Services" (PDF). Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  180. ^ World Health Organization 2016, pp. 25–26.
  181. ^ World Health Organization 2016, p. 88.
  182. ^ World Health Organization 2016, p. 75.
  183. ^ IPCC SR15 2018, SPM.5.1.
  184. ^ a b Mazzucato, Mariana; Semieniuk, Gregor (2018). "Financing renewable energy: Who is financing what and why it matters". Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 127: 8–22. doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2017.05.021. ISSN 0040-1625.
  185. ^ UNDP & UNFCCC (2019). The Heat is On: Taking Stock of Global Climate Ambition (PDF). United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Climate. p. 24.
  186. ^ IPCC SR15 2018, p. 96.
  187. ^ IEA, IRENA, UNSD, World Bank, WHO 2021, p. 129.
  188. ^ United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2018). 2018 Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows Technical Report (PDF). (Report). p. 54. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  189. ^ United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2018). 2018 Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows TechnicalReport (PDF). (Report). p. 9. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  190. ^ Bridle, Richard; Sharma, Shruti; Mostafa, Mostafa; Geddes, Anna (June 2019). "Fossil Fuel to Clean Energy Subsidy Swaps: How to pay for an energy revolution" (PDF). International Institute for Sustainable Development. p. iv.
  191. ^ Watts, N.; Amann, M.; Arnell, N.; Ayeb-Karlsson, S.; et al. (2019). "The 2019 report of The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: ensuring that the health of a child born today is not defined by a changing climate". Lancet. 394 (10211): 1836–1878. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(19)32596-6. PMID 31733928.
  192. ^ United Nations Development Programme 2020, p. 10.
  193. ^ a b ILO News (14 May 2018). "24 million jobs to open up in the green economy". International Labour Organizatioin. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  194. ^ Newburger, Emma (13 March 2020). "Coronavirus could weaken climate change action and hit clean energy investment, researchers warn". CNBC. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  195. ^ Birol, Fatih (14 March 2020). "Put clean energy at the heart of stimulus plans to counter the coronavirus crisis". IEA. Paris.
  196. ^ Kuzemko, Caroline; Bradshaw, Michael; et al. (2020). "Covid-19 and the politics of sustainable energy transitions". Energy Research & Social Science. 68: 101685. doi:10.1016/j.erss.2020.101685. ISSN 2214-6296. PMC 7330551. PMID 32839704.
  197. ^ Fleming, Sean (11 November 2020). "China is set to sell only 'new-energy' vehicles by 2035". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  198. ^ a b c United Nations Environment Programme 2019, pp. 39–45.
  199. ^ IPCC SR15 2018,
  200. ^ "Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax | Canada". UNFCCC. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  201. ^ Carr, Mathew (10 October 2018). "How High Does Carbon Need to Be? Somewhere From $20–$27,000". Bloomberg. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  202. ^ a b Plumer, Brad (8 October 2018). "New U.N. Climate Report Says Put a High Price on Carbon". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  203. ^ State and Trends of Carbon Pricing 2019 (PDF) (Report). Washington, D.C.: World Bank. June 2019. doi:10.1596/978-1-4648-1435-8. hdl:10986/29687.
  204. ^ United Nations Environment Programme 2019, pp. 28–36.
  205. ^ Ciucci, M. (February 2020). "Renewable Energy". European Parliament. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  206. ^ "State Renewable Portfolio Standards and Goals". National Conference of State Legislators. 17 April 2020. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  207. ^ International Energy Agency 2021, pp. 14–25.
  208. ^ United Nations Environment Programme 2020, p. VII.
  209. ^ International Energy Agency 2021, p. 13.
  210. ^ International Energy Agency 2021, pp. 14–18.


This page was last edited on 15 June 2021, at 20:47
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.