An analysis of the differences between the hard and the soft energy

Then in —15, far from turning upwards, energy intensity fell by a further 24 percent. Electricity is the costliest form of energy, yet Americans have saved electricity only half as fast as direct fuel.

a soft energy path is one that quizlet

Intensifying business as usual — drilling oil and gas wells, building giant coal and nuclear plants, perhaps developing coal-to-liquids synfuels — vigorously was proposed, but soon began looking too costly, dirty, slow and difficult.

When our supplies of fossil fuels do begin to be depleted, our emphasis should shift to a greater reliance on nuclear power. Such incentives might include tax breaks and subsidies for coal, uranium and petroleum companies.

hard energy path

The soft path shown in Figure 1B is 0. Yet by autumnno coherent alternative vision had been articulated.

Instead, various market incentives both small and large have been applied to expand energy supply as well as make more efficient use of it. Yet the challenge of speeding that shift remains, while the imperatives of climate, public health, security, development and democracy heighten its urgency. But the best contemporaneous econometric forecasts were about 60—70 percent too high.

They point out that predictions from the s and s that our oil supplies would be depleted by the end of the century have been proved wrong. On the one hand are those who favor the control of resources in the hands of a relatively small number of large corporations. Thus after a long, bumpy detour, renewables since about have at last taken off as hoped in — but roughly 35 years late. Modern combined-cycle gas-fired power plants emerged only in the s. Nowadays it makes amusing reading, reminding us that 40 years ago energy efficiency was novel and controversial, while renewable energy was strange, threatening or absurd. Once President Gerald Ford got auto-efficiency standards passed into law in effective , U. Climate change and global warming was not the concern that it is today, and indeed, there were worries that the Earth was in fact cooling. Yet, there are reasons to believe that some dramatic changes in the ways we use energy may be in store over the next century. Most importantly, soft-path proponents maintain energy systems of the future should be designed for small-scale use. Critics have been warning for a least two decades that time was running out for the fossil fuels and that we could not count on using them as prolifically as we had in the past. The two most common themes have been described originally by physicist Amory Lovins as the "hard path" and the "soft path. On the other hand, technological change has also meant that we have taken steps on the hard energy paths as well.

The development of more efficient solar cells, for example, would make it possible for individual facilities to generate a significant portion of the energy they need.

The "near-halving" envisaged by "about the turn of the century" occurred in Critics have been warning for a least two decades that time was running out for the fossil fuels and that we could not count on using them as prolifically as we had in the past.

An analysis of the differences between the hard and the soft energy

Some people still cling to those views. Had the scientific community known in that U.

On the one hand are those who favor the control of resources in the hands of a relatively small number of large corporations. Technological changes have also facilitated many steps along the soft energy path. But the best contemporaneous econometric forecasts were about 60—70 percent too high. Energy path, hard vs. An important feature of the hard energy path is the development of huge, centralized coal-fired and nuclear-powered plants for the generation of electricity. Once President Gerald Ford got auto-efficiency standards passed into law in effective , U. For at least two decades, experts have debated the best way to structure our energy use patterns in the future.
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Hard versus soft energy paths