Summary and Final Tasks
Summary on Renewable Energy Demands
This lesson covered the major drivers underpinning the demand for sustainable energy (RE) and the expressed urgency with which RE infrastructure needs to be developed. While CO2 reduction is a significant driver of RE demands, there are many other aspects of sustainability that need to be kept in mind when developing a RE strategy, e.g., the value of local biodiversity, or cultural differences in conceptions of prosperity. Analyzing RE demands as only being driven by market pricing would leave out a significant dimension of the analysis, which includes environmental impacts and social impacts, as well as economic impact. As such, the analysis of the interlinking social and environmental dimensions would constitute the bulk of the materials for your non-market strategy. To support such an analysis, you have learned here about how sustainable development and energy are entirely intertwined, definitions of sustainability, and why RE requires an energy systems approach, and you were introduced to some initial types of sustainability metrics, e.g., to help analyze project validity.
Keep in mind
Sustainability and RE are intricately intertwined. Be able to explain to someone how the arguments fit together. Be able to give multiple definitions of sustainability, but be very explicit about the definition and conditions from which your strategy and/or analysis will be drawn. This is where sustainability metrics come in; they will mostly be an imperfect way to measure the sustainability of a project, but they are a start. You need to begin thinking about markets and energy systems, where they interlink, and what aspects shape the market that are not market in origin.
Reminder - Complete all of the Lesson 3 tasks!
You have reached the end of Lesson 3! Double-check the to-do list on the Lesson 3 Overview page to make sure you have completed all of the activities listed there before you begin Lesson 4.