Science | VOL. 189
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Energy and Resources: A plan is outlined according to which solar and wind energy would supply Denmark's needs by the year 2050.

Publication Date Jul 25, 1975

Abstract

Two possible futures for the industrial world may be distinguished: (i) Large amounts of low-cost energy become available and the more energy-intensive methods for extracting resources from lowergrade deposits continue to sustain industrial expansion until either the environmental impact becomes unacceptable or ultimate limits, such as climate disruptions, put an end to such growth. (ii) The cost of nonrenewable energy resources continue to rise, but a fixed amount of energy from continuous sources may be utilized at constant cost. In this case a lower production level may be set by the amount of energy that is available from renewable sources, and society may thus have to be reshaped with energy economization in focus. If it is possible to choose between these two alternatives, the choice should be based on a discussion of the pros and cons of each one, and in particular on the desirability of having to process an increasing fraction of the earth's crust in search of raw materials in order to maintain growth as long as possible. However, the availability, of the first option is far from certain and it thus seems reasonable to plan for the second alternative. I have tried to propose such a plan for a small, homogeneous geographical region, namely Denmark. The ceiling on the consumption of energy from continuous sources is chosen in accordance with the criterion of not having to convert a major part of the land area to energy-collecting systems. The proposed annual average energy consumption of 19 gigawatts by the year 2050 c...

Concepts

Solar Energy Lower Production Level Wind Energy Energy Continuous Sources Industrial World Nonrenewable Energy Resources Wind Energy Project Windmill Denmark

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretatio...

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