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An introductory world energy model

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2 Author(s)
Zaiser, J.N. ; Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pa. ; Schiesser, W.E.

The energy problem has suddenly placed new demands on engineering education. The magnitude of the problem and its resolution through the creative application of scientific and engineering principles will no doubt require that essentially all new engineering graduates have some background in basic concepts pertaining to energy production, distribution and utilization. These three aspects of the energy problem in turn suggest the necessity for some background in relevant economics and social factors (e.g., the demand for energy to maintain present life styles) as essential for an understanding of the energy problem. To this end, a world energy model and associated computer simulation are proposed as a medium for providing engineering graduates with the required background. The model contains the essential elements of the supply/demand interaction for five major sources of energy, with intersource competition; the model, however, is of modest complexity so that students are not overwhelmed with detail. The computer program is, therefore, well suited for individual and group study of the key parameters which influence the world energy situation through interactive computer simulation. Students can thereby gain insight and understanding of the principal characteristics of the energy problem. The model is continuous (i.e., an initial value problem in ordinary differential equations), and typically runs through the 50-year period 1970-2020 via low-order Runge-Kutta numerical integration. The coding is in standard Fortran IV so that it is essentially machine independent. The program can, therefore, be readily exchanged by engineering educators.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:63 ,  Issue: 3 )