The World’s Energy Problem: Without cheap, safe, low-carbon energy sources at a large scale we are stuck between the alternatives of high greenhouse gas emissions and energy poverty

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
Posted Dec 22, 2020 | Our World in Data, Max Roser

The world lacks safe, low carbon, cheap, large-scale energy alternatives to fossil fuels. Until alternatives are scaled up, the world will face two key energy problems. Max Roser suggests in this article for Our World in Data that the energy problem that receives most attention is the link between energy access and greenhouse gas emissions. A second global energy problem is as serious: Hundreds of millions of people lack access to sufficient energy entirely, with serious consequences to themselves and the environment. The article concludes that countries are still very far away from providing clean, safe, and affordable energy at sufficient scale, and unless rapid progress is made in developing these technologies the world will remain stuck in the two unsustainable alternatives of today: energy poverty or greenhouse gas emissions.


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