Which Energy Future?

Frank A. Felder, Clinton J. Andrews, Seth D. Hulkower

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines that the energy economy has great inertia, so that many historical trends will, in fact, carry forward far into the future. Patience on a generational time scale is probably a prerequisite for a satisfying career in energy policy. However, the future can and will eventually diverge from the past. Powerful dynamics of change include demographic processes; the discovery, trading, and depletion of varied energy resources; numerous technological and institutional innovations; and shifting geopolitical roles for actors on the world stage. Some of these dynamics are, in fact, choices that people, organizations, and nations can make about the future. Much of the value of forecasts and scenarios for the future lies in encouraging thoughtful discussion about which energy future we really want. A key part of that discussion is whether to accept a probable but undesirable energy future, or to pursue a more desirable, but also more challenging energy future.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnergy, Sustainability and the Environment
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages31
ISBN (Print)9780123851369
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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