Idrogeno, fonti rinnovabili ed eco-efficienza. Quale approccio alla questione energetica?
The paper is about the nature of the relationships among energy economy and society. Economic growth and development was fostered by an increasing use of fossil energy. Its exhaustion has always been a major worry. Furthermore, the abundance of energy has been made possible to move huge amounts of matter and has given rise to major disturbances to eco-systems and costly feedbacks on humans. We will see that the European Union is very concerned of both sides of the problem and acknowledges that the supply side (also renewable energies) will not offer relevant contributions. The analysis of the tecnological frontier in this field will illustrate the main reasons for this position and show that the hydrogen society is not just round the corner. Among those reasons there is also our difficulty of acceptg the multidimensional nature of the problems. A multidimensional non-reductionist approach allows 1) to better assess the different energy sources, 2) to avoid the illusion, also contained in the vision of the EU, of being able to reduce energy demand by increasing efficiency, 3) to view absolute dematerialisation and reduction of energy demand as a necessary condition for sustainability. Finally we tackle the issue of the importance of how we look, perceive and process our environment - importance that has been emphasised by the film director Wim Wenders and the 1978 Nobel Prize for economics Herbert Simon.
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