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Energy Challenges: Present and Future

2013 ICREA-CCCB Debates

“Energy Challenges: Present and Future” is the second cycle of the ICREA-CCCB Debates, in which the two institutions regularly work together to present to the public the advances and challenges of high-level research being carried out today here in Catalonia. Each debate will present a project of researchers at the Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA – Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies) in different fields of knowledge. This time, the discussion focuses on the challenges arising from production, management and use of energy.

Energy drives our society. This fact has far-reaching political and geostrategic consequences. Overdependence on oil, safety problems in nuclear power stations and the shortcomings of alternative sources are presenting an energy future that is full of challenges and question marks. Energy consumption is already a social and economic problem in the West and also in the developing countries, and even more so now that thousands of millions of citizens in China and India legitimately aspire to the western way of life. However, can the planet permit its entire population to consume energy at the same rate as in the industrialised countries? Is this model of energy consumption sustainable? How long can we be dependent on oil? When will the renewable energies represent a real alternative? What technological solutions will the future present? And perhaps the most important question of all: how can we use energy without jeopardising the resources of future generations?

The challenges presented by energy are too important to leave to the experts alone since energy dependence conditions our way of life. The future of our societies will depend on the policies we adopt and decisions we make today.

This activity is part of ICREA-CCCB Debates

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Alternative energies and international regulations: future commitments?

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Can technology find solutions for energy challenges?

Lecture by Andreu Cabot

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Fossil fuels: does oil have a future as a source of energy?

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