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Energy and Environment Encyclopedias Articles

We at Enerdata are proud to share our partnership with two local publications based here in Grenoble, France, where we have our headquarters. The Encyclopedia of the Environment and the Encyclopedia of Energy both bring high-quality, scientific writing by academic experts to the public in multiple languages.

Through our partnership, Enerdata is sharing a selection of these articles here, which we think will be of use to our clients, partners, and readers.

Articles from both Encyclopedias on a variety of topics are available below in both English and French. More articles will be added regularly, so check back often!

The Climate Machine
Author(s)
Gerhard KRINNER

The Climate Machine

Understand the “climate machine” with this introduction to the most important concepts, including how the climate system works, and what contributes to its complexity. What is the different between climate and meteorology or weather? What are the essential elements of the climate system? These and other basic questions are answered in this article. Additionally, we discuss both the internal and external causes of climate change by learning about forcing and feedback, the concept of climate predictability and different time scales, and briefly introduce climatology and related sciences (including physics, chemistry, biology and geology).
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Water shortage
Author(s)
Ghislain DE MARSILY

Are we at risk of water shortage?

The Earth’s water is essentially salty. The water cycle that is necessary for terrestrial life is fed by ocean evaporation, then condensed and released by rainfalls, run by the thermal engine of the sun. This cycle supplies water to the continents, which is divided into blue water (in rivers and groundwater) and green water (stored in the soil after rain and then used and transpired by plants). Human consumption of water as a resource is still rather modest: we use 7% of blue water and 9% of green water, but the problem is the geographic distribution of humanity: We don’t live where the water resources are. Steppes and arid zones are home to 21.5% of the humans on Earth, where only 2% of the planet’s blue water resources are present. And the amount of water we use is constantly increasing because of population growth and changes in our diets, while at the same time climate change is affecting water resources. Given all of this, how can we balance water supply and demand in order avoid shortages, famines, bloody conflicts and mass migration in 2050, and in 2100?
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Hydropower
Author(s)
Ghislain Weisrock

Hydropower : A vital asset in a power system with increased need for flexibility and firm capacitysitant davantage de flexibilité et de puissance garantie

The development of intermittent RES generates a destabilisation of the electricity system, as their production time is not correlated with that of the demand. In an electricity system with an increasing share of intermittent RES, there is a greater need for flexibility. Hydropower, as a manageable and renewable energy, has a key role to play in balancing the power system. To what extent can hydropower ensure grid stability in a decarbonised world?
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The energy transition: the planet's greatest challenge
Author(s)
Christian DE PERTHUIS, Boris SOLIER

The energy transition: the planet's greatest challenge

The meaning of the term “energy transition” has varied with time and currently has different meanings across world regions – including within Europe. To avoid allowing this important definition to become so malleable that it risks blurring climate issues, this article first clarifies the different uses of the term. Starting from this understanding, three shifts are necessary: Carbon-free energy sources must no longer be added to existing sources, but rather must take their place entirely; energy efficiency gains must no longer lead to higher consumption (via the relative price reduction produced by efficiency); and the timeline of the energy transition must truly be based on the climate clock, not on politics.
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