No matter how the U.S. energy portfolio changes, an increasing share of future needs will be met by energy-conversion and energy-demand technologies now in the research or development stage. Some will require substantial improvements—or even research breakthroughs—to have a major impact on our energy budget.
Some options are described below. Whether and to what extent any of these technologies ultimately contributes to changing our energy future will depend on many factors, from advances in technology development to the priorities reflected in government policy.
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- Global Warming
A term used to describe the phenomenon of Earth’s rising average near-surface temperature. Although such fluctuations have occurred in the past due to natural causes, the term is most often used today to refer to current warming trends. Most scientists have concluded that this is very likely due to the observed increase in human-generated greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.
Search the National Academies Press website by selecting one of these related terms.
- America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation (2009)
- Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass: Technological Status, Costs, and Environmental Impacts (2009)
- Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report (2008)
- Review of DOE’s Nuclear Energy Research and Development Program (2007)