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Global Demand Growth of Power Generation, Input Choices and Supply Security

The anticipated global demand growth for energy, and electricity in particular, is mapped for the coming 20 years. Five critical issues implied by this forecast are then spelled out: uncertainty, security of energy supply, energy financing, and the role of nuclear and renewable energy. Finally, based on a review of the energy revolutions which the human race has experienced during history, the paper sketches a long term energy future. It suggests the possibility of a new energy era in the 21st century with electricity and hydrogen as the main final energy and nuclear and renewables as the main primary energy, providing, coincidentally, a solution to the CO2 issues that loom so importantly at the end of the 20th century.

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Energy Specializations: Electricity – Generation Technologies; Electricity – Policy and Regulation; Renewables – R&D and Emerging Technologies; Energy and the Environment – Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases

JEL Codes:
Q2 -
E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General
O32 - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
Q54 - Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming

Keywords: Electricity generation, energy security, carbon dioxide emissions, nuclear energy, Renewables

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol19-No2-5

Published in Volume19, Number 2 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.