1945

The clean energy technological transformation

Energy technologies have been greatly shaping society and the environment for the past two centuries. In fact, modern civilizations are largely dependent on fossil fuel energy technologies, which make high-density urban settlements possible. While technological progress has eliminated many problems, it has also added new and often unexpected ones (Grübler, 1998; Diamond, 2005). Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) arising from the combustion of fossil fuels have been the main cause of anthropogenic global warming. All energy technologies, whether they are fossil-based or not, consume resources, use land and pollute air, water and the atmosphere. Energy use has reached a scale at which planetary boundaries are being breached for a range of essential Earth-system processes, including in terms of global warming and biodiversity loss, which is likely to lead to catastrophic environmental change (Rockström and others, 2009).

Related Subject(s): Environment and Climate Change
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