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Global Challenges

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Climatic changes, Environmental geotechnology, Greenhouse gas mitigation, Power resources -- Evaluation, Renewable energy resources, Environmental engineering


Humanity faces tremendous challenges as a result of anthropogenic climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions. The mix of resources deployed in order to meet the energy needs of a growing global population is key to addressing the climate change issue. The goal of this research is to examine the optimal mix of energy resources that should be deployed to meet a forecast global energy demand while still meeting desired climate targets. The research includes the unique feature of examining the role that geoengineering can play in this optimization. The results show that some form of geoengineering is likely to be needed by the middle of the 21st century as part of the optimal energy strategy in order to meet a specified climate goal of 580 ppm CO2-eq greenhouse gas concentration (or ≈2 °C average global temperature rise). The optimal energy mix would need to rely on energy efficiency, nuclear, geothermal, hydro, and wind energy for over 50% of global energy needs. In addition, the overall cost of the optimal energy mix is sensitive to the assumed amount of achievable energy efficiency, carbon taxes, deployment of electric vehicles, and the assumed discount rate.


© 2017 The Authors. Published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

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