The future of energy production, operation and management in a changing world was the focus of the 5th International Conference on Energy Production and Management. Papers presented at the meeting form this volume.
A focus is placed on the comparison of conventional energy sources, particularly hydrocarbons, with a number of other ways of producing energy, emphasising new technological developments, based on renewable resources such as solar, hydro, wind and geothermal.
Key to sustainability is the need to convert new sustainable sources of energy into useful forms (electricity, heat, fuel), while finding efficient ways of storage and distribution. In many cases, the challenges lie as much with the production of such renewable energy at an acceptable cost, including damage to the environment, as with the integration of those resources into the existing infrastructure.
The changes required to progress from an economy based mainly on hydrocarbons to one taking advantage of sustainable energy resources are massive and require considerable scientific research as well as the development of advanced engineering systems. Such progress demands close collaboration between different disciplines in order to arrive at optimum solutions.
Also discussed is the energy use of industrial processes, including the embedded energy contents of materials, such as those in the built environment. Energy production, operation, distribution and usage, result in environmental risks which need to be better understood. They are part of energy economics and relate to human environmental health as well as ecosystems behaviour.
An emphasis is placed on the ways in which more efficient use can be made of conventional as well as new energy sources. This relates to savings in energy consumption, reduction of energy losses, as well as the implementation of smart devices and the design of intelligent distribution networks.