The resource intensity of an energy supply

What does Sustainability Mean for Energy?

What makes energy sustainable? I think each of us has our own idea, and the various ideas are not entirely the same. 

To be sustainable, clearly the fuel supply must be adequate–not run out shortly. If we are concerned about climate change, a sustainable source of energy production should not add much carbon to the atmosphere, either. We are running short on fresh water, so a sustainable fuel must not put a burden on the water supply. Furthermore, it is becoming more and more clear that the system of international trade that underlies our high-tech system will not hold together indefinitely. Because of this, an energy source that depends heavily on imported raw materials or parts, or is dependent on our whole high-tech way of life, is not likely to continue very long.

Ideally, any energy source we want to emphasize in the future will meet all of these criteria, and additionally, will be inexpensive to produce. The problem is that it is very difficult to find fuels that meet all these criteria……………..

Full story at http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5187

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