Abstract

In this chapter, future energy directions are studied in the light of smart energy systems. These smart systems are investigated and comparatively assessed to address major global energy-related issues in a sustainable manner. In order to be considered as smart and sustainable, the future energy systems should use technologies and resources that are adequate, affordable, clean, and reliable. Therefore, selected future energy systems are evaluated based on their efficiencies, environmental performance, and energy and material sources. Our results show that increasing the number of products from the same energy source decreases emissions per unit product and increases efficiencies. Also, among the selected sources, geothermal has the most potential in terms of using cleaner technologies with energy conservation, renewability, and the possibility of multiple desired products from the same source. Solar, hydro, and biomass are also beneficial. Even with carbon capture technologies, fossil fuels are not very desirable in future energy systems because of their emissions and non-renewability.

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