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Sustainability of Energy Systems: Views from Technology Perspectives

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Sustainable Energy Technology and Policies

Part of the book series: Green Energy and Technology ((GREEN))


Green, clean, sustainable—these three words are frequently used casually to connote some desirable attributes. When claimed for technical systems, however, the monikers of green, clean, and sustainable must be scientifically justified. Unfortunately, this objective of introducing scientific rigor into assessing the greenness or sustainability of technical systems has not been universally accepted or practiced. For energy systems, currently the debate is conspicuously driven by the phenomenon of global warming, which more recently is described as climate change. The nonfossil modes of energy production, delivery and use of solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, or biomass, are uncritically assumed to be green and sustainable in both scientific and popular literature. This should not be the case. This chapter will look at the issues that must be considered while designing energy systems that can be described as sustainable, clean, or green.

To take away today from England her steam engines would be to take away at the same time her coal and iron. It would be to dry up all her sources of wealth, to ruin all on which her prosperity depends, in short, to annihilate that colossal power.

—Sadi Carnot

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    For instance, power density of solid-state lasers is 20 MW/cm2, whereas utility’s high-voltage line carries 100 MW/cm2.

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Correspondence to Subhas K. Sikdar .

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Sikdar, S.K. (2018). Sustainability of Energy Systems: Views from Technology Perspectives. In: De, S., Bandyopadhyay, S., Assadi, M., Mukherjee, D. (eds) Sustainable Energy Technology and Policies. Green Energy and Technology. Springer, Singapore.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-981-10-7187-4

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