Energy Options for the Future—Policies and Planning

  • Diana Schumacher


Previous chapters have attempted to evaluate our current and future energy options. They have also described the immense changes that have taken place in energy-supply patterns in different countries over the past few years, more especially since 1973. It was then first generally realised that: oil and natural gas could not indefinitely supply two-thirds of the world’s commercial-energy needs; reserves were limited; and within 50 years they could run out. Consequently, in most industrialised countries a substantial switch to fuels other than oil and gas has recently taken place. The coal industry is again expanding steadily despite the CO2 build-up and acid rain for which it is partly responsible, and vigorous investment has been undertaken in the nuclear industries notwithstanding the unresolved safety and environmental problems. Considerable interest has also been shown in conservation and renewable-energy sources and in the development of synthetic fuels. At last there is some consensus that unless new patterns of energy use are quickly established, new forms of fuel developed and world energy-demand stabilised, an ‘energy gap’ will inevitably occur at some unspecified date in the future. Unless bridged, this could undermine the whole structure of society as we know it, affecting both the industrialised and Third World countries. Every country that has not secured its own long-term indigenous fuel supplies could face the crippling hardship currently experienced by many poorer countries. The supposed ‘energy affluence’ of the early-1980s in the rich countries is as misleading as the frequent abundance of fruit before a tree dies.


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Further Reading

  1. Atlas of Earth Resources Mitchell Beazley, London, 1979Google Scholar
  2. El-Hinnawi, E. E., Environmental Impacts of Production and Use of Energy, Vol. 1, Natural Resources and Environmental Series, published for the United Nations Environment Programme by Tycooly International, Dublin, 1981Google Scholar
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  4. Lovins, A. B., Soft Energy Paths: Towards a Durable Peace, Penguin, London, 1977Google Scholar
  5. Hayes, D., Rays of Hope: The Transition to a Post-petroleum World, World Watch Institute, W. W. Norton and Co., New York, 1977Google Scholar
  6. Flood, M., Solar Prospects: The Potential for Renewable Energy, Friends of the Earth/Wildwood House, London, 1983Google Scholar
  7. Facing the Energy Future: Does Britain Need New Energy Institutions? Royal Institute of Public Administration, London, 1981Google Scholar
  8. Deciding about Energy Policy, Principles and Procedures for making Energy Policy in the U.K. Council for Science and Society, London, 1979Google Scholar
  9. Barney, G. O. et al., Global 2000 Report to the President of the United States — Entering the 21st Century, Pergamon, New York, 1980Google Scholar
  10. Oliver, D. and Miall, H., Energy Efficient Futures, Opening the Solar Option, Earth Resources Research Ltd, London, 1983Google Scholar
  11. Landsberg, H. H. et al., Energy, the Next Twenty Years, Report sponsored by the Ford Foundation, Ballinger, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1979Google Scholar
  12. English, Bohm and Clinard, ‘Toward an Efficient Energy Future’, Proceedings of the International Energy Symposium III, Harper and Row, New York, 1982Google Scholar
  13. Clinard, English and Bohm, ‘Improving World Energy Production and Productivity’, Proceedings of the International Energy Symposium II, Harper and Row, New York, 1982Google Scholar
  14. Sullivan, T. F. P. and Heavner, M. L. (eds), Energy Reference Handbook, 3rd edn, Government Institutes Inc., Rockville, Maryland, 1981Google Scholar
  15. Slesser, M. (ed.), Dictionary of Energy, Macmillan Reference Books, Macmillan, London, 1982Google Scholar
  16. McMullan, J. T., Morgan, R. and Murray, R. B., Energy Resources, 2nd edn, Edward Arnold, London, 1983Google Scholar
  17. Hafele, W. et al., Energy in a Finite World, Paths to a sustainable future, Report by the Energy Systems Programme Group of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Ballinger, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1981Google Scholar
  18. Foell, W. K. and Hervey, L. A. (eds), National Perspectives on Management of Energyl Environment Systems, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Wiley, Chichester, 1983Google Scholar
  19. Cook, P. L. and Surrey, A. J., Energy Policy — Strategies for Uncertainty, Martin Robertson, Oxford, 1981Google Scholar

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© Diana Schumacher 1985

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  • Diana Schumacher

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