October 6, 2018

Energy and Environment

SCOPE chapter Energy and Environment:

Fossil fuel based energy comes at a cost of negative impact on environment and its use in the industrial economies is one of the major contributors toward environmental pollution. For this very reason, Affordable and Clean Energy is declared by the UN as one of the seventeen goals of sustainable development. Recent technological innovations in the field of renewable energy are helping to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel energy. The share of renewable energy in the global energy mix has increased from 8.6% in 2010 to 18.2% in 2017 and is expected to reach to 22.5% by 2020 (Renewable Energy Data) . Wind and Solar power (primarily PV) are the major contributors to this increase followed by Small Hydro and Bio-power (bio-fuels and bio-mass). With even faster than expected growth of renewables the experts suggest the “policy makers to turn their focus to system integration and expanding the use of renewables for heating and cooling” (Renewables 2017). Bio-power and especially the bio-mass as a source of renewables has an added advantage of managing waste to produce clean energy by through both solid waste and waste water treatment. Energy production through incarnation of municipal solid waste is another elegant approach to waste management and clean energy production. Sweden, with more than half of its energy in the national energy mix coming from renewable resources, is ranked on top in the EU countries (Energy Use In Sweden). Wind and bio power are the major contributors in 54% of the total energy use in Sweden and therefore a leading example for both technology developers and policy makers elsewhere to get inspiration and experience from.

Amir Rashid is Associate Professor and head of the Manufacturing and Metrology Systems research group in the department of Production Engineering at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.