Since the beginning of industrialization in the last century, a steady increase in energy consumption can be observed. At the same time, energy generation switched from wood and coal to predominantly oil, coal and natural gas. Soon, many countries became aware of the fact that the resources of fossil fuels, especially of oil and natural gas are finite. Diversification of energy sources became a requirement for the future. Governments expressed their concern by setting up natural energy programmes while international organisations undertook assessments of the global energy resources and possible rates of supply and substitution. When it comes to setting up energy policies, the following factors must be taken into consideration: population growth, level and nature of socio-economic activity, the costs of energy, the adequacy and reliability of supply, the availability of technology and supporting infrastructure, the success of energy conservation programmes and concern about the environment, safety aspects of production and use of energy as well as educational efforts toward a rational use of energy.
When we express our most urgent concern, the long-term global energy provision, experts offer four interrelated partial strategies: - the strategy of rational use and conservation of energy - the strategy of using renewable energy sources - the coal strategy including coal gasification and liquefaction - the nuclear power strategy. Any strategy, however, for securing future energy supply has, from my point of view, to be thoroughly examined as to its impact on the environment.
I/Global Energy Demand and Supply - Present and Future.- Economically Efficient Energy Futures.- High Energy Demand and Supply Scenario.- The Role of Climate in Affecting Energy Demand/Supply.- Climate Considerations and Energy Conservation.- Prospects for Using Improved Climate Information to Better Manage Energy Systems.- Discussion.- II/Climatic Impacts of Carbon Dioxide.- The Carbon Cycle and its Perturbation by Man.- The Oceans and Biosphere as Future Sinks for Fossil Fuel Carbon Dioxide.- The Role of the Biosphere.- Modeling the Surface Temperature Changes Due to Increased Atmospheric CO2.- Constraints on Fossil Fuel Use.- The U.S. Department of Energy and the Carbon Dioxide Issue.- Discussion.- III/Climatic Impacts of Other Gases and Aerosols.- The Effects of Chlorofluoromethanes on Climate.- The Impact of Nitrogen Fertilization.- Climatic Effects of Anthropogenic Trace Gases.- Aerosols and Climate.- Discussion.- IV Climatic Impacts of Land Use Changes.- Impacts Due to Deforestation.- Climate Change Due to Anthropogenic Surface Albedo Modification.- Impacts of Changes Due to Large-Scale Deployment of Energy Conversion Systems.- Climatic Impacts of Urbanization.- Discussion.- V/Climatic Impacts of Heat Emission.- Impact of Waste Heat Emissions in the Upper-Rhine Region.- Local and Regional Climatic Impacts of Heat Emission.- Computer Simulation Studies of the Regional and Global Climatic Impacts of Waste Heat Emission.- Discussion.- VI/Risk-Benefit and Cost-Benefit Assessment.- Comparison of Risks and Benefits Among Different Energy Systems.- Assessing the Importance of CO2-induced Climatic Changes Using Risk-Benefit Analysis.- The Costs of Climatic Impacts.- Discussion.- VII/Possible Preventive Measures.- Reduction of Fossil Fuel Use and Adoption of Alternative Energy Sources.- Conservation Practices and Increased Efficiency of Energy Conversion and Usage.- The Collection, Disposal, and Storage of Carbon Dioxide.- Environmental Control Technology for Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide.- Discussion.