Page 8 - Contemporary ENERGY Vol3 No1 (2017)
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International Journal of Contemporary ENERGY, Vol. 3, No. 1 (2017)  ISSN 2363-6440

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GLOBAL ENERGY —
UNCERTAINTY IS THE ONLY THING

CERTAIN

“Without passion you don't have energy, without energy you have nothing.”
                                                                           Donald Trump

Claiming that the recent election of a new president in the US has attracted international attention is an
understatement. The quote above is among the least controversial ones from the constantly twittering president-elect
(when this was written). ”Without energy you have nothing” is a quote my late grandmother would agree upon
immediately. She was a very calm and gentle old lady, never raising her voice – with one notable exception. Somebody
once said ”back in the good old days”. This immediately triggered my grandmother. She promptly abrupted the
discussion with the words ”there were no good old days – they were harsh old days!”. When she grew up, people lived
a hard life at the islands where her fishermen family lived. They endured long and tough workdays and nights at sea,
and if they were lucky they could get a sandwich for supper when they came back – if they came back at all. Many
fishermen found their grave in the sea. Their houses were small little shacks exposed to winter storms straight from the
open sea, with one single room for the entire family, having a small wood stove as the only energy source. ”It is much
better now”, my grandmother concluded. ”Now we have electricity”. By the way, she lived to the age of 92, an age
earlier generations could only dream about, the latter also being a consequence of improved living conditions thanks to
energy.

Energy shapes the entire society, and this is part of the reason the recent US election has been on the headlines. If it
had been an issue about personality of candidate X versus candidate Y, but no major uncertainties about the political
consequences, my guess is that the attention had still been large, but a bit smaller. However, the newly elected
president has given contradicting messages on how to handle the energy challenges, and the key players identified in
the new administration also seem to have rather different views on these matters. Will the US leave the international
process of trying to curbe greenhouse gas emissions? Will the US leave free-trade agreements? That the former is
relevant from a global energy perspective is obvious, but also the latter has implications for tackling the environmental
and societal challenges in the energy sector. For instance, with high import fees, less energy-efficient production can be
favoured. At present, we can only ask the questions. The answers still lie in an uncertain future.

The role of science and technology as drivers in developing more efficient energy exploitation and thereby functioning
as engine in global development was a common underlying theme in the recent REMOO conference held May 18-19
2016 in Budva, Montenegro. Although the conference title was ”Science and Engineering for Reliable Energy”, the
conference attracted an even wider scope of contributions, not limiting to science and engineering in themselves, but
also to their utilization in society. In fact, the scope was even wider: some contributions studied implications in the

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