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A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology by Vincent F. Hendricks, Stig Andur Pedersen, Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis

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Energy Forecast Methodology

Future energy demand is expected to grow substantially as global population increases and developing nations seek a higher quality of life. Energy forecasters predict how this demand will be met. The forecasts vary from a scenario that relies on nuclear energy (Hodgson 1999) to a scenario that relies on renewable energy (Geller 2003). Other forecasts of the twenty-first-century energy mix show a gradual transition from the current dependence on carbon-based fuels to a more balanced dependence on a variety of energy sources (Schollnberger 1999, Edwards 2002). These forecasts illustrate the range of perspectives that must be considered in deciding global energy policy and are summarized here.

Nuclear energy forecast

Hodgson (1999) presented a scenario in which the world would come to rely on nuclear fission energy. He defined five Objective Criteria for evaluating each type of energy: capacity, cost, safety, reliability, and effect on the environment. The capacity criterion considered the ability of the energy source to meet future energy needs. The cost criterion considered all costs associated with an energy source. The safety criterion examined all safety factors involved in the practical application of an energy source. This includes hazards associated with manufacturing and operations. The reliability criterion considered the availability of an energy source. By applying the five Objective Criteria, Hodgson concluded that nuclear fission energy was ...

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