Janusz Bialek and Ksenia Letova of the Skoltech Center for Energy Systems are quoted in this BBC article on the future of energy.
Every day, our species chews its way through more than a million terajoules of energy. That’s roughly equivalent to what we would use if all 7.5 billion of us boiled 70 kettles of water an hour around the clock. Or 3,000 times the daily output of Palo Verde nuclear power station in Arizona – one of the world’s largest – running at full capacity.
Skoltech's Ksenia Letova (second from left) and Janusz Bialek (right) at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok last year. Photo: Skoltech.
With the global population swelling and industrialisation on the rise in developing nations, humanity’s hunger for energy has reached unprecedented levels. More than half of our energy comes from fossil fuels extracted from deep within the Earth’s crust. It is estimated that since commercial oil drilling began in the 1850s, we have sucked up more than 135 billion tonnes of crude oil to drive our cars, fuel our power stations and heat our homes. That figure increases every day.
But our gas guzzling over the past two centuries has taken a potentially devasting toll on the planet. Burning of coal, oil and gas has been inextricably linked to the rising levels of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere and is a leading contributor of climate change. The world’s scientists agree that we are on a path towards disaster that can only be stopped by weaning ourselves off our fossil fuel habit. But that leaves us with a problem. How do we ensure the lights stay on?
Read the full article here.