ERE Spring Seminar Series-Ahmed Badruzzaman
Ahmed Badruzzaman, Ph. D, ANS Fellow
Consultant, Pacific Consultants & Engineers
Faculty, UC Berkeley Center for South Asia Studies
Title: World’s Energy Future: Any Room for ‘Conventional’ Source Options?
With humanity facing two extraordinary challenges, namely, energy security and climate change blamed on fossil fuel use, various players, from politicians to scientists, are proposing a myriad of solutions. These solutions range from increased hydrocarbon exploration and production coupled with CO2sequestration, to a massive shift to a broad group of alternative, ‘clean’ energy systems to wean the world off from fossil fuels which currently account for nearly 86% of its marketed energy consumption. A number of issues, economic, technical, and environmental, have been raised on the feasibility of the alternatives. The developed world, with far greater economic and technological resources is better equipped to ponder these issues. By contrast, three billion people in the developing world, with limited access to both, still rely on traditional fuels for their energy needs for a subsistence living, with devastating health, safety and societal consequences. They face a near-existential threat from the twin challenges of energy security and climate change, raising the prospect for serious conflicts.
The presentation will briefly survey world’s energy challenges, identify synergies and contrasts between the developed and developing worlds in meeting these challenges, and then explore, in more detail the future of three ‘conventional’ energy source options, petroleum, nuclear, and traditional systems the speaker has focused his recent research on. The talk will interactively explore the unparalleled opportunities the twin challenges accord the future generation of energy practitioners.