Today the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) published the report "Population: One Planet, Too Many People?" urging governments to recognise engineering as critical in tackling the problems of food, water and energy supply for a growing and increasingly urbanised population. Amongst its recommendations, IMechE sees low-carbon, local energy sources as an important part of the set of innovative technologies needed to tackle this growing pressure on resources. It states:
“Increased food production, water processing and urbanisation, combined with economic growth and expanding affluence, will by mid-century more than double the demand on the sourcing and distribution of energy.”
It also states that low carbon and local solutions will be part of the energy supply mix to meet these needs:
"Current known technologies for energy sourcing and distribution are capable of reducing, managing and satisfying the emerging demand...alongside [largescale infrastructure] will be greater emphasis on the deployment of localised community-based clean technologies in the newly developing nations."
(Pic: 2010 Ashden Awards winners TECNOSOL install solar-driven systems in rural Nicaragua)