Sustainable Energy Systems: A New Paradigm for New Energy Technologies

by Roger E. Clark, Pennsylvania Energy Office, Harrisburg, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Energy in the 90's


The fundamental links between energy production/use and the environment are becoming increasingly apparent. The major environmental challenges of global climate change, acid precipitation, urban air pollution, stratospheric ozone depletion and solid waste are all consequences of the way our society produces and uses energy. This paper defines sustainability and discusses some of its key concepts such as the recycling of materials and nutrients, full accounting of all external costs, the steady state (instead of growth) economy and the proper indices for economic/ecological health (instead of G.N.P.). The paper will also address some of the program initiatives of the Pennsylvania Energy Office to encourage the transition towards sustainable energy systems.

Subject Headings: Sustainable development | Energy infrastructure | Economic factors | Recycling | Climate change | Air pollution | Benefit cost ratios | Steady states | Pennsylvania | United States

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