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World Affairs: The Journal of International Issues
Year : 2013, Volume : 17, Issue : 2
First page : ( 142) Last page : ( 173)
Print ISSN : 0971-8052. Online ISSN : 0974-0937.

Breakthrough Energy Technologies in the Twenty-First Century: Economic and Geopolitical Implications

Poponi Daniele, De Gourdon Côme Carpentier

Online published on 3 August, 2013.

Abstract

Historical precedent shows that a transition to new sources of energy is overdue. However, according to current trends, renewable energy sources are not likely to replace fossil fuels and coal—which is making a comeback—in spite of the latter's negative effects on the environment. An alternative may soon become viable through “breakthrough energy technologies” that could solve most problems related to power supply, pollution and depletion of fossil fuel reserves. This paper analyses the likely impact of a new, technically inexhaustible energy source on the global economy and industry as well as on geopolitics. They all could be radically transformed by the widespread availability of locally generated, inexpensive power that might not require the construction and maintenance of heavy production and distribution systems. Moreover, energy production through nuclear fission would no longer be a viable option.

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