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Can renewable energy sources power the world?
Can renewable energy sources power the world?

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Week 8: Towards a renewable future

Introduction

In the preceding seven weeks of the course, you’ve looked in turn at the principal renewable energy sources and described the individual contributions they might make to the energy needs of the UK, Europe and the world, under various conditions.

This final week draws the threads together. It examines a number of future energy scenarios showing how combinations of renewable sources could provide all, or most, of the energy needs of the United Kingdom, of other European countries and the World as a whole, during the first few decades of the 21st century, starting with the UK.

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By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • assess at a basic level the contribution that renewable energy technologies can make to the overall sustainability of energy systems at different scales
  • discuss the difficulties created by the time-varying nature of some renewable energy supplies
  • describe the importance of energy storage and demand management
  • compare and contrast at a basic level British, other European and global approaches to renewable energy development and its importance in global sustainable development.