Energy is the key to development and is the basis of modern
technological societies. Fossil fuels -- oil, coal, and gas --
provided over 80 percent of the energy in the 20th century and will,
most likely, persist well into the 21st century in spite of associated
environmental impacts and climate change. The raging question is --
what energy portfolio will provide affordable clean energy to 9
billion people in the coming decades? This talk will examine the
current challenges, the technological breakthroughs required and the
role of individuals and communities. I will then show how state of the
art in information science and technology can be used to create a real
time global observatory for energy infrastructure, consumption, and
generation. By identifying and correlating changes over time in energy
production and infrastructure to drivers, such as economic incentives
and taxes, demographics, technology, and the environmental impacts, we
hope to acclerate the transition to cheap clean energy for all.
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