Alternative Energy Futures: The Case for Electricity

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Science  20 Aug 1982:
Vol. 217, Issue 4561, pp. 705-709
DOI: 10.1126/science.217.4561.705


The energy trends of the past and their likely evolution in the next 50 years have been analyzed in the light of technological progress. It is concluded that society will tend to become less centralized than in the past and that it is possible to have future per capita values of energy consumption at the world level similar to those at present, with a substantial redistribution to allow for economic growth of the less developed countries. A condition for this is increasing penetration of electricity. The rationale for the suggested scenario is described, and prospects for electricity for both the industrialized and developing countries are discussed.