Renewable thermal energy sources as the basis for sustainable development of global energy sector of the future
Global economic growth at the current stage of technological progress is driven by increasing energy consumption. The paper considers the evolution of global energy consumption from 1981 to 2019. The analysis reveals a steady increase in the consumption of all types of fuel and energy sources attributed to the fact that the most developed countries’ economies and the global economy are going through the so-called "industrial" stage of development, which requires increased energy consumption for sustainable development. It is demonstrated that over the past 40 years despite current prevalence of thermal energy in the global energy sector (particularly fossil fuels and nuclear power that make a total share of 88.5% in the global energy mix), consumption of renewable energy sources (hydropower, solar and wind energy) has grown at a blistering pace compared to thermal energy primarily due to substantial investments in renewable power generation.
However, given the fact that conventional renewables (hydropower, solar and wind energy) make up just 11.5% of global power generation, only thermal renewable energy sources, primarily MOX-fuel for nuclear power plants and controlled nuclear fusion, will be capable to meet the ever-growing energy demand in the future. In the mid-term perspective, "hybrid" technologies combining conventional energy sources (primarily natural gas, as the most efficient, environmentally friendly and widely available type of fossil fuel) and conventional renewable energy sources are likely to dominate energy supply sector.
global energy consumption; energy consumption balance trends; fossil fuels; natural gas; energy transition; hydrogen economy; renewable thermal energy; hybrid energy generation technology
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V.V. Bessel, PhD, Associate Professor, Executive Vice President, NewTech Services LLC, Professor, Gubkin Russian State Oil and Gas University
31G, Shabolovka st., Moscow, 115162, Russian Federation
V.V. Bessel Vozobnovljaemye teplovye istochniki jenergii kak osnova ustojchivogo razvitija global'noj jenergetiki budushhego [Renewable thermal energy sources as the basis for sustainable development of global energy sector of the future]. Neftyanaya Provintsiya, No. 1(29), 2022. pp. 138-151. DOI https://doi.org/10.25689/NP.2022.1.138-151 (in Russian)