Energy alternatives

Faced with the major risks which have been mentioned concerning energy supplies and climate change, it is essential to adopt more durable solutions which do not suffer from the disadvantages of fossil energies in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and depletion of resources.

The objective is therefore to reduce as quickly as possible the proportion of fossil energies in the global primary energy supply, while supporting the vital needs of the world population.

We must therefore look towards alternative energy sources, namely nuclear and renewable. In principle, the renewable energy resources are inexhaustible on a human scale.

With the future technologies, the nuclear sector will be capable of producing energy for a very long period of time, despite the issue of uranium availability for the nuclear power plants based on current technology (see Chapter 6).

Presently, however, these alternative energies represent only a very small fraction of the world's total primary energy supply (less than 20%). Moreover, this share is only growing very slowly.

The alternative solutions (nuclear and renewable) pose problems in terms of technological maturity and economic profitability in the case of massive development of the renewable energies and, as regards nuclear energy, there is also the question of safety and social acceptability.

Until new technical breakthroughs allowing broader distribution of these alternative solutions become available, we must implement all possible means to make the transition without suffering a major crisis.

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