By D. Elliott

In this well timed e-book, top authors discover the applied sciences that will support us to boost a sustainable strength destiny, emphasising renewable power and the political and monetary context wanted for them to prosper. This assortment makes hard-headed checks of what's attainable and what's not.

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1 System demand in west Denmark and the net demand, allowing for the contribution from wind 28 Sustainable Energy the wind plant. Although the capacity of the wind plant was around 1800 MW the consumer demands still predominate. The electricity system in western Denmark is fairly small by international standards but it still benefits from the aggregation of consumer demands. A simple example shows how important this is. 5 kW and the maximum is 5–10 kW – 10 to 20 times the average. If each UK household met its own maximum demand – 5 kW, say, 100 GW of plant would be needed for this sector alone.

There are also differing interpretations of what represents a health problem and different perceptions of risk. There have so far been a small number of major nuclear accidents and, statistically, the associated risks of serious impacts, averaged out across the population, are relatively low. However, in this analysis, we have not yet included any estimates of risks due to intentional acts of sabotage or terrorism. A successful attack on a major nuclear facility, for example by crashing a fully-fuelled civil airliner into a reprocessing plant where large amounts of highly active materials are stored, could lead to the release of significant amounts of radioactive materials and cause many casualties (STOA, 2001).

It could be argued that, in this context, investing in clean coal combustion combined with carbon sequestration would be better than nuclear as an interim option, while developing renewable energy resources for the longer term. It is interesting that China already generates about the same amount of total renewable energy as the US, if large hydro is included. Clearly what happens in countries like China – and India – will shape the global energy and environmental future. The Renewable Energy 2004 conference in Bonn discussed scenarios in which renewables supplied 50% of total global energy (heat and power) by 2050 (Renewable Energy, 2004).

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