“The causes of the global climate change, related to the anthropogenic impact, need to be scientifically researched and proved,” confidently said laureate of the 2018 Global Energy Prize Sergey Alekseenko. At the panel discussion “Ratification of the Paris Agreement in Russia: Potential Impact on RES Sector Development” of the ARWE 2019 International Forum on Renewable Energy, the expert spoke on the structure of global energy consumption in implementing the Paris climate deal, the trends in the global energy industry and prospects for the development of renewable energy in Russia and in the world.
The strategies of energy development may differ considerably for different countries, depending on their geographical location, level of economic development and availability of energy resources. Nevertheless, according to Sergey Alekseenko, with the account of the contemporary state of the world energy market, it is possible to define general trends in the development of energy industry in the world and in individual states, in particular. Among them, in the coming decades, it is possible to single out the development of environmentally friendly and efficient technologies for the processing of fossil fuels, for instance, based on combined-cycle plants and methods of deep processing of coal. And in the longer term those will be the large-scale development of renewable energy sources, the working out of effective methods for the conversion and storage of energy, including fuel cells.
The scientist noted that despite the warning on the rapid exhaustion of fossil fuels, there is no doubt that for the well-resourced states fossil fuels will remain the priority type among energy sources. Nevertheless, the world community is aware of the importance of reorienting to carbon-free energy sources, and the adoption of the Paris Agreement became one of the main evidence of this intention. According to Sergey Alekseenko, the implementation of the Agreement will radically change the world energy system due to the displacement of coal, and non-traditional sources will start to dominate in the world energy balance after 2050. But there are some serious doubts in the relevance of the Paris Agreement. “There is no convincing scientific evidence that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases can in the foreseeable future cause a catastrophic warming of the Earth’s atmosphere and the destruction of its climate. There are some direct proving facts that changes in the CO2 content in the atmosphere are the result of the change in the temperature rather than its cause,” underscored Alekseenko.
According to the scientist, there should be systematic scientific research of the causes of the climate change, but it does not mean that the future world energy will avoid focusing on the renewable sources of energy. And the most promising types of renewable energy sources, in his opinion, is geothermal energy, or rather its component in the form of petrothermal energy (use of heat from dry rocks of the Earth at depths from 3 to 10 km). The temperature at such depths reaches 350 ° C. The member of the Russian Academy of Sciences is confident that the stocks of the deep heat will be enough for 50 000 years. If you develop this area, you can get access to virtually inexhaustible energy resources with complete environmental safety. In addition, the petrothermal energy does not need energy storage, unlike renewable energy sources of periodic use.
In general, the Global Energy Prize laureate came to the conclusion that, taking into account present-day realities, the Paris Agreement cannot be fully implemented, but the global decarbonization of energy is inevitable. In their energy development programs, the world powers need to focus on the development of renewable energy and efficient technologies for the processing of organic fuel.