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The Simple Physics of Energy Use$
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Peter Rez

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198802297

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198802297.001.0001

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Summary—What Should Be Done?

Summary—What Should Be Done?

(p.240) 15 Summary—What Should Be Done?
The Simple Physics of Energy Use

Peter Rez

Oxford University Press

Energy policy should start with an analysis of what physics and engineering say is possible, followed by an analysis of economics, and not be driven by mandates that favour renewable energy sources. In practice, it is very hard to make renewables such as solar and wind work, owing to their intermittency, and so widespread adoption might not lead to any reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, as demonstrated by the German ‘Energiewende’. To reduce carbon dioxide emissions, all base load electrical demand should be generated by nuclear power, as in France. To cut down on energy requirements, industrial countries should transition from a ‘throwaway society’ to a ‘repair’ society, and people should cut down on travel and meat consumption.

Keywords:   mandate, carbon dioxide emission, Energiewwende, repair, travel, nuclear, renewable

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