(430c) The Global Energy Challenge: What’s Ahead | AIChE

(430c) The Global Energy Challenge: What’s Ahead


Armstrong, R. C. - Presenter, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The world is confronted by a two faceted energy challenge: on the one hand global energy demand is projected to grow significantly by mid-century and beyond, driven primarily by population growth and by economic growth in developing countries. At the same time, meeting the threat of climate change requires decarbonization of the entire energy system. In this presentation, I focus primarily on the power sector to illustrate addressing this dual energy/climate challenge.

Two examples of major changes in generation in the power sector – shale gas and solar energy – are used to illustrate what has been done to date in growing and decarbonizing electricity system. Each of these comes with its own challenges that together help define a long term strategy captured at MIT in a set of eight low-carbon energy centers. I give examples of game changing energy technologies emerging in these areas as illustrations of what needs to be done. Finally, developing countries present a unique set of challenges associated with additional economic and other constraints. The Tata Center for Technology and Design at MITEI provides a model for what can be done in these critical regions of the world.