Sustainability Concept for Energy, Water and Environment Systems

  • Naim Hamdia Afgan

Sustainability has become an unavoidable issue in all major planning and undertakings that involve future use of energy, water and any other natural resources. In order to ensure sustainable growth of our society, we must satisfy the sustainability criteria and meet the constraints imposed by the finiteness of all natural resources and the dynamics of their natural renewal. But how do we quantify and measure sustainability and how do we ensure that the sustainability requirements are fulfilled? We consider the sustainability concept for energy, water and environmental systems and its interaction with current major global trends: globalisation, democratisation and decentralisation. In the assessment of global energy and water resources we consider the current resource consumption and possible scenarios for meeting future demands. We then move to the definition of the sustainability concept. In order to introduce a measure of sustainability, we focus on possible definitions of respective criteria with specific application to energy system design. It is argued that multicriteria sustainability measurements of options for an energy system must be based on four sets of indicators: technological efficiency, economic, environmental and social indicators.


Sustainability energy water and environment system resources limits sustainability measures 


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© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naim Hamdia Afgan
    • 1
  1. 1.Member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, UNESCO Chair HolderTechnical University of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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