INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES EN ENERGIA NO CONVENCIONAL
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
capítulos de libros
Energy and Territory. Toward Sustainable Integrated Scenarios
S. BELMONTE; J.G. VIRAMONTE; NUÑEZ V.; J. FRANCO
Handbook of Sustainable Energy.
Nova Science Publishers
Año: 2011; p. 443 - 465
Numerous paradigms intermingle in the traditional approach to environmental problems. The notions of sustainability, development quality of life, climate change and energy crisis are discussed in spheres of science and used in political spaces to pose desirable and ideal territorial scenes. Many times, however, these approaches remain conceptual and opportunistic. Decision-making often responds to sectorial interests, merely economic criteria or chancy conditions, without assessing the environments aptitudes or the impact that the developed activities will have on the environment and on society as a whole. In this context, land use planning (LUP) processes come up as an indispensable conduction tool for change mobilization (understood as an improvement process of the current conditions) and the construction of more sustainable scenarios. Energy matters fit into this model as key elements and they are essential for the territory. Energy, with multiple connotations, has accompanied the various schools of thought and scientific and historic praxis. Thereby, energy appears as the common factor linking the organic plants and animals- with the inorganic world inert environment- (Sachs, 1996) in the positivist dimension of ecology. However, energy becomes the development engine beyond its vital recognition in ecosystem functionality (Rosnay, 1977). Indisputably, economic growth, intensive production processes and technological development entail high environmental and energy consumption costs. Guimaraes (1998) explains: the technological expressions of the great cycle that started nine thousand years ago reveal that despite the growing technological sophistication of the successive human civilizations, we use growing vast amounts of energy and with matching tremendous inefficiency levels (i.e. with more entropy). In times of shortage (Esteva, 1996 in Sachs, 1996), the exhaustible condition of the currently used main energy sources is the third element. Fourth and last, newer sustainability guidelines transcend the stationary entropic view of energy and restore its sense of existence: energy is essential for social and economical development and for a better quality of life all sources of energy must be utilized in a way that respects the atmosphere, human health and the environment (Agenda 21, chapter 9 in Sabsay et al., 2008). These four approaches allow to link the concept of energy with environment and territory, in its most primitive consequences: constant flow which supports and forms part of the systems, impact and environmental impoverishment source, scarce non renewable resource in its current tendencies and exploitations, need and potential for the improvement of peoples quality of life.