The buildup of a sustainable energy supply system is beyond all disputes the most important challenge both for our economy and the environment. Energy has been used luxurious since the beginning of the industrial society. The finite nature and instability of fossil fuel supply is only the tip of the problem. It's save to say: Our demands on energy (and resources) correlate extremely with our consumption styles.
Increased consumption needs with increased populations lead to heavy increased energy and resources demands. In 2011 the "Earth Overshoot Day" was on 27th of September. Based on the calculations of the Global Footprint Network, we have to expect that each year since 2001, the Earth Overshoot Day would have moved an average of three days earlier in each year.
And energy consumption is one of the most important driving forces of this trend. How can we overcome this problem?
Key questions for ERSCP Topic Energy are
- Energy consumption in a growing world. The ongoing growth of the earth population combined with our lifestyles and consumption patterns is far above all thinkable boundaries for a sustainable development. How can we feed the world with energy in future?
- What the hell is >>Smart<< standing for? Europe is currently developing a lot of different strategies on smart cities, smart grids and smart technologies. But what is behind this terminology? And what kind of contribution on the solving of our energy problems is provided by those smart strategies?
- Energy efficiency, energy self-sufficiency. Europe tries to put the wheel of history into reverse. Ambitious concepts on energy self-sufficiency are written for different regions. Do they have a chance? Or is energy efficiency enough to overcome the most important problems?