Energy’s Hybrid Future

Newsweek has an extensive collection of reports discussing the future of energy in the context of our dependence on oil:

“Solutions wanted. No idea too weird.” If a classified ad could sum up the world’s energy problem, this would be it. Experts generally agree that our current reliance on fossil fuels is unsustainable. Already oil is near $50 per barrel, and the great millions of Chinese and Indians destined to take to the road in the next decades have not yet gotten behind the wheel. If the clamor over global warming seems apocalyptic now, just wait until those two countries are as developed as the West.

At the same time, even with higher oil prices, clean energy sources like wind and solarnot to mention hydrogen, an unproven technology barely off the drawing boardsdon’t yet make enough economic sense to replace oil. That’s why many experts are starting to talk of building a hybrid economy. Rather than replacing hydrocarbons entirely, what we need to do is find ways to use less oiland use it more efficiently. This means changing everything from the kinds of cars we drive, to the homes we live in, to the way we make and distribute electricity. It’s a revolution in thoughtand in the making.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.