31 Years after the first Energy Crisis - the relation between energy policy and technology

This paper defines 11 dimensions for a sustainable energy policy, and 13 technology options to realise these objectives. It further explores the link between energy technologies and policy objectives.

Since the first oil shock 31 years ago, has the world moved towards a more sustainable energy system? Or has a proliferation of energy policies, regulations, enthusiasms and philosophies resulted in a hive of activity, with little progress? Does Europe lack an energy strategy?

This paper defines 11 dimensions for a national or regional energy policy, and 13 technologies to realise these objectives. It further explores the link between energy technologies and policy objectives.

The paper demonstrates that there is no such thing as a perfect energy technology, though energy efficiency and non-intermittent renewables come pretty close. It also shows that sufficient options are available to achieve almost any strategic objective. Pursuing a wide portfolio of options appears a wise choice to ensure economically efficient and stable energy prices.

A secure, clean, safe, healthy and economically efficient energy supply is no longer a technology development challenge, but largely a matter of investment in infrastructure and deployment of modern solutions on a massive scale. Developed countries can afford almost any energy system, but cost of energy and industry competitiveness become major attention areas. For developing countries, the question is affordability, and the allocation of scarce resources in the light of many stringent requirements. Considering the expected price pressure and resource challenges, a strategy to pursue a wide range of options, with resources allocated according to their potential seems appropriate.

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