Edited By Walter Leal Filho and Julia Gottwald
"Renewable Energies in the Light of Development Experiences in Fifty Years 1960-2010"
“Renewable Energies in the Light of Development Experiences in Fifty Years, 1960-2010” Nelson Amaro1 Abstract Political, socio-economic and environmental trends are examined in the past fifty years. Three periods are distinguished in this time span. The first one is the “op- timistic” phase (1960-70). Concerns about renewable energy were absent. The motto here is “development without any frontier”. The second phase is the “pes- simistic” stage (1970-85), where “the limits of growth” are emphasised. Interest in renewable energy is strongly brought to the fore at this stage. An environ- mental catastrophe is predicted if development patterns continue. Renewable energy becomes a viable alternative to expensive and contaminating fuel energy during this stage. The final phase, which we call “realistic”, is being witnessed now (1985-present) where attempts are being made to reconcile development and environmental goals. These trends help to distinguish four paradigms that have oriented global development and renewable energy in the past sixty years: the “Modernisation” and “Neo-liberalism” school, which contributes to the optimistic vision of the sixties; Secondly “Dependence” theories followed by “World- Systems” schools, less concerned with renewable energies but looking at oil predominance as an instrument of big corporations and something serving the interests of rich countries. The “Club of Rome” paradigm, on the other hand, emphasises scepticism about all kinds of development efforts. In the “pessimistic stage” it predicted catastrophe if exploitation patterns continued without regard to environmental and clean energy concerns. The prevalent paradigm nowadays, however, is the “Sustainable Development” approach, which seems to...
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