Eric Martinot: Many people are starting to recognize that we are entering a major period of transition in our energy systems in the years and decades ahead. The transition will take us away from fossil-fuel combustion technologies like coal power plants and gasoline car engines, and towards renewables, stored energy, and innovation in electric utility systems. I think everyone is intrigued by this future, but it’s difficult to understand and discuss. There are many good publications about the future of renewable energy, including many detailed scenarios and visions. But few people have time to read and digest hundreds or thousands of pages to get a glimpse of the future. Media stories give only part of the picture and often show bias of one form or another. I want to give people better access to thinking about the future. I want to create a clear and concise synthesis of the best of our current thinking about the future of renewable energy – and show the range of credible possibilities. Am I biased? Yes, of course! I believe we can and should achieve a predominantly renewable energy system in the long term. Still, I want to lay out the state of our current thinking as objectively as possible – including how that thinking has evolved over time.
Interview with the author and editor: