Special Issue "Energy Sustainability after Global Fossil Energy Depletion"


A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2010)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. David Pimentel

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
Phone: 607-255-2212
Fax: +1 607 255 0939
Interests: basic population ecology; genetics; ecological and economic aspects of pest control; biological control; energy use and conservation; genetic engineering; sustainable agriculture; soil and water conservation; natural resource management and environment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Several energy specialists project that the world will deplete oil resources by 2040 or about 30 years from now. Natural gas and coal will be depleted later or about 2100. After the fossil energy resources are depleted, humans will have to rely on solar energy technologies, these include hydropower, biomass, photovoltaics, solar thermal, geothermal, algae oil, solar ponds, biogas, and parabolic troughs. All of these solar energy technologies require land to collect solar energy then convert it into various forms of energy. The land requirement to produce one half of the energy now used in the U.S. and Canada will require an estimated 20% of the land. Of course, no use of cropland is planned because cropland is essential for food production. Transportation of goods and people will have to rely on trains and ships – no aircraft and few automobiles. Homes will be smaller with heavy insulation and heating these homes will be difficult. In the northeastern and Midwestern U.S. biomass will be the prime heating source. In the West and South, electricity will be the prime source of heat. Agricultural production will trend toward organic farming that could reduce the energy inputs by about 50% for many crops.

Prof. Dr. David Pimentel
Guest Editor


  • fossil energy
  • solar energy
  • biomass energy
  • cropland
  • geothermal energy
  • food production
  • transportation
  • residential and commercial heating
  • organic farming

Published Papers (1 paper)

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p. 322-362
by ,  and
Sustainability 2011, 3(2), 322-362; doi:10.3390/su3020322
Received: 2 December 2010 / Revised: 19 January 2011 / Accepted: 24 January 2011 / Published: 28 January 2011
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Last update: 4 March 2014

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