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Accelerating the transition to a fossil-fuel-free future
28 January, 2015 @ 6:00 pmFree
Energy Futures Lab Annual Lecture.
A surge in research activity is needed to switch the global economy away from its present reliance on fossil fuels.
The challenge is technological, and the need is urgent. An international programme with funding commensurate to the challenges posed by climate change will be discussed. Worldwide, publically funded RD&D on renewable energy is only $4 billion a year. This does not measure up to the gravity of the threat we face. The roll out of primary renewable sources over the past decade has produced substantial improvements in the competitiveness of solar- and wind-based energy production. But considerable effort is now needed in energy storage and smart grids, so that new-build base-load renewable energy becomes cheaper than new-build coal in all parts of the world. This programme will need a concentrated effort from policy makers, university researchers and the private sector.