24 June 2008

Clean Tech: The Economist Looks at the Future of Energy

The energy landscape is changing, says The Economist, but where is it heading?

This week's issue (21 June) has a special report looking at the options facing the world, including alternative sources and

The market for energy is huge. Estimated at US$6 trillion a year, it accounts for about a tenth of the world's economic output -- and by 2050, power consumption is likely to have doubled from today's levels. High fuel prices and worries over energy security and global warming mean that a technology boom based on alternative energy may soon be upon us.

Wind and solar both are approach cost parity with traditional sources, at least in terms of new development. Biofuels caught on and we were all heading to Abilene with them, until some folks pointed out the issues with corn- and other food-based sources. And even electric cars and nuclear power seem to be rising from the dead.

It's clear the future of energy must change if economic development and prosperity are to continue.

The Economist report looks at the full range of alternative energy options that may fuel the new green economy and asks the critical question, can they break our addiction to oil and coal?