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"隐形燃料"确保未来能源安全
添加时间:2017-07-14 14:19:19 浏览次数: 作者:未知
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  • When energy economists1 gaze into their crystal balls to see what the world will look like in 20 years’ time, some things are clearer than others.

    当能源经济学家透过水晶球预言二十年后世界的景象时,有些情况要比其他方面更加清晰。

    Clearest of all is that the global population will grow and with it the world economy. As countries get richer, their demand for energy will rise, placing ever new strains on the planet’s natural resources.

    最明确的是,世界人口将会增加,世界经济也会随之增长。随着各国变得更加富有,他们对能源的需求也会增加,因而不断给地球自然资源带来新的压力。

    A closer look at forecasts for energy demand, however, reveals some surprising conclusions.

    然而,进一步观察对能源需求的预测,就会得出一些令人惊讶的结论。

    Consider ExxonMobil’s annual energy outlook to 2040. The company says that total energy demand is growing: the world will need 35 per cent more energy in 2040 than it does now. That growth rate pales in comparison with that of the world economy as a whole: Exxon says global GDP will expand by 135 per cent over the same period. What is more, in the world’s advanced economies – Europe, North America and Japan – energy demand will not grow at all.

    来看看埃克森美孚(ExxonMobil)到2040年的年度能源展望。该公司指出,总的能源需求在增加:2040年,世界能源需求量将比现在增加35%。与世界经济整体相比,这一增长率根本不算什么。埃克森指出,同一时期,全球GDP将会增长135%。此外,在欧洲、北美、日本等发达经济体,能源需求根本不会增长。

    The reason for this is energy efficiency. “The greatest source of energy in the future will be using it more efficiently,” says Bill Colton, Exxon’s vice-president for corporate2 strategy, and one of the authors of the outlook. “Huge amounts of energy will be saved in this way.”

    原因就是能源效率。埃克森美孚负责企业战略规划的副总裁比尔•科尔顿(Bill Colton)说:“未来最大的能源来源就是更加有效地利用能源。通过这种方式将节约大量的能源。”科尔顿也是能源展望的作者之一。

    In the battle against climate change, renewables were long seen as the silver bullet. The argument was that replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar power would reduce carbon emissions3 and thereby4 slow or even stop global warming, as well as curb5 consuming countries’ huge dependence6 on expensive imported oil and gas. But in the debate about our energy future, the theme of energy efficiency – called the “invisible fuel” by some – is taking on a new prominence7. Consumers are starting to understand that the energy they do not use can have almost as much impact as the energy they do.

    在应对气候变化的过程中,可再生能源一直被认为是良方。理由就是用风能和太阳能代替化石燃料会降低碳排放,因而减缓甚至阻止全球变暖,并限制消费国对昂贵的进口石油和天然气的严重依赖。但在关于能源未来的争论中,能源效率的主题,也就是一些人所说“隐形燃料”,将更加突出。消费者开始了解,他们没有使用的能源几乎与使用的能源会产生同样的影响。

    The result is a shift in thinking about everything from building design to street lighting8. That means the future of energy is no longer the preserve of oil companies, wind farm developers and government officials, but of everyone from architects and appliance manufacturers to civil engineers and carmakers. Big energy savings9 have been achieved by seemingly minor10 technological11 changes such as moving from gas boilers13 for space heating to heat pumps.

    结果就是从建筑设计到街道照明的理念都发生转变。这意味着能源的未来不再只是石油公司、风力发电站、政府官员的节约,还包括从建筑师、设备制造商、到土木工程师和汽车制造商。一个看似很小的技术变化就可以节约大量能源,比如空间加热的燃气锅炉到加热泵的转变。

    The potential prize is enormous.

    潜在的收益是很大的。

    A recent report by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research in Germany found that the EU’s energy requirements could end up being 57 per cent lower in 2050 than they were in 1990, offering the tantalising prospect14 of 500bn a year in energy savings.

    德国弗劳恩霍夫协会系统与创新研究所(Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research)最近的一份报告显示,2050年欧盟(EU)的能源需求可能会比1990年还低57%,能源方面每年节约的资金可能高达5000亿欧元。

    The institute says energy use in buildings could be cut by 71 per cent, mainly through better insulation15, modern construction technology and energy efficient heating and hot water systems. In transportation16, improvements in traffic management and better logistics could result in energy savings of 53 per cent, while more efficient steam generation and electric motors could help reduce industrial energy demand by 52 per cent.

    该机构表示,建筑上使用的能源可能会降低71%,主要是通过更好的隔热、现代建筑技术、节能加热、热水系统实现的。在交通领域,交通管理和物流的改善大约能节约53%的能源,而更多的高效蒸发和电机可能会使得工业能源需求下降52%。

    Cumulative17 spending on such measures is growing fast. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that in 2011 $180bn was invested globally in projects aimed at improving energy efficiency. Yet that is a paltry18 sum compared to the money flowing into traditional energy production. The IEA says more than three times that amount – nearly $600bn – was invested the same year in expanding or maintaining the world’s supply of fossil fuels.

    这些技术的累计支出正在快速增加。国际原子能机构(IEA)指出,2011年全球改善能源效率的项目投资为1800亿美元。但与传统能源生产投资相比,这只是一笔很小的数目。IEA表示,同一年,在扩大或者维持全球化石燃料供应上的投资将近6000亿美元,是这一数目的三倍多。

    The problem is that there are still significant barriers. With assets such as buildings, the payback time for investing in an improvement in energy efficiency can be several years – often longer than the buyer plans to own the asset.

    问题的关键在于,提高能源利用效率仍然面临巨大障碍。对于像楼房这样的资产而言,投资于改进能效的回报周期可能长达数年——常常比买方计划持有这一资产的时间还要久。

    Also, it can be hard to measure success. The EU recently said it would not meet its target of saving 20 per cent of its primary energy consumption by 2020, partly because of the “lack of appropriate tools for monitoring progress and measuring impacts on the member state level”.

    此外,节能投资的成效也难以衡量。欧盟表示,或无法实现在2020年以前将主要能源消耗量缩减20%的目标,部分原因在于“缺乏成员国层面的监控节能进展以及评估节能举措影响的合适工具”。

    There is another potential danger – the so-called “rebound19 effect”. If you save money on electricity by installing a heat pump, for example, but spend what you save on air travel, the improvement in energy efficiency is meaningless. The EU has identified rebound losses of 10-30 per cent.

    此外还有一个潜在风险——即所谓的“反弹效应”。例如,假设你通过安装热力泵在电费上省了一笔,但把省下来的钱花在了乘坐飞机旅行上, 那么这种能效提升将毫无意义。欧盟认为,反弹效应造成的能效损失在10%至30%之间。

    Still, despite the potential dangers, companies involved in energy efficiency are becoming a new and attractive asset class for investors20. Alastair Bishop21, portfolio22 manager of BlackRock’s natural resources team, singles out companies such as Schneider Electric and Johnson Controls, specialists in building automation systems that monitor and control the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting in an office block. Such companies install sensors23 that turn off lights in a room when it is empty or shut down heating overnight, steps that can contribute to big savings. “If you look at the larger energy story, before the financial crisis it was all about producing more energy,” Mr Bishop says. “But since the crisis, there’s been more awareness24 of the sustainability and affordability25 of power.”

    虽然存在这些潜在风险,参与能效提升的企业现已成为对于投资者充满吸引力的一个新的资产类别。贝莱德(BlackRock)自然资源股团队投资组合经理阿拉斯泰尔•毕晓普(Alastair Bishop)将施耐德电气(Schneider Electric)、江森自控(Johnson Controls)等企业单列出来。这类企业擅长建造自动化系统,能够监控一栋办公大楼内的取暖、空气流通、空气调节以及照明。这类公司可以通过安装感应器在房间内空无一人时关闭照明,或者在夜间关闭暖气装置,此类举措能够节约大量能源。毕晓普表示:“如果你用一种广义的视角来看能源行业,那么在金融危机发生前,生产更多的能源是这一领域的主要目标。但自金融危机发生以来,人们对于能源可持续性以及可承受性的意识日趋增强。”

    Nevertheless, he stresses that investments need government support to work. This is happening – on a large scale. In recent years, all the major energy-consuming countries have passed laws to encourage energy efficiency. The US has introduced new fuel-economy standards for vehicles; the EU has its target of reducing energy demand by 20 per cent by 2020; Japan wants to cut electricity demand by 10 per cent in 2030 compared to 2010; and China has a goal of cutting energy intensity26 by 16 per cent between 2011 and 2015.

    他强调,在能效领域的投资需要政府支持才能真正发挥作用,而后者已经在较大的范围内开始推行。近年来,所有主要的能源消费国都通过了旨在促进提高能源利用率的法案。美国引入了针对汽车的燃料利用率新标准;欧盟的目标是在2020年以前将自身的能源需求规模缩减20%;日本希望在2030年实现电力需求较2010年下降10%;中国则定下了在2011至2015年间将单位产值能耗降低16%的目标。

    “There’s a theme here,” says Exxon’s Mr Colton. “The improvement in efficiency that we’ve been seeing is mostly being driven by government policy. Consumers would not get there on their own.”

    埃克森的科尔顿表示:“能效领域已经形成了一种主导模式。目前为止我们所见到的绝大部分能效提升都是在政府政策的推动下实现的。消费者不会自发要求提高能效。”

    Some policies are highly specific. In 2010, the EU adopted a directive on the energy performance of buildings. It requires all new buildings to be “nearly zero energy” by 2021. On a national scale, too, governments are coming up with evermore innovative27 ways of encouraging energy savings. Under the UK’s Green Deal scheme, for example, consumers can take out a loan for home improvement measures such as getting rid of an old boiler12 and pay it back through a surcharge on their electricity bills.

    某些政策本身高度细化。2010年,欧盟施行了一项有关房屋能效的规定。该规定要求,所有新建房屋必须在2021年以前实现“净能耗接近于零”。在单个国家的范围内,各国政府也采用了越来越多富有创意的办法来鼓励民众节约能源。例如按照英国的Green Deal计划,消费者可以为替换老旧锅炉等房屋整修举措申请贷款,并通过支付溢价电费的形式予以偿还。

    Although energy conservation is a big concern in the west, some parts of the world have made little or no progress. The abundance of fossil fuels in the Middle East and the low cost of energy – with heavily subsidised prices for petrol and gas – gives the region little incentive28 to husband resources. The IEA says the average efficiency of fossil fuel power generation in the Middle East is just 33 per cent – 9 per cent lower than in the west. That is why some are sceptical that global energy intensity – the amount of energy consumed per unit of GDP – will come down drastically soon. Futurologist Jorgen Randers, in a report offering a global forecast for the next 40 years, expects energy intensity to fall by only a third compared to 2010 – not enough to stop catastrophic climate change. Still, Maria van der Hoeven, the IEA’s executive director, believes: “The most secure energy is the barrel or megawatt we never have to use”.

    虽然节约能源在西方是一个颇为引人关注的问题,世界上的某些地区在节能方面却几乎没有取得任何进展。中东地区充裕的化石燃料资源以及低廉的能源成本——汽油和天然气价格因为来自政府的大额补贴而处于低位——导致该地区几乎没有动力来节约能源。国际能源机构表示,中东地区化石燃料发电的平均效率仅为33%,较西方国家低了9个百分点。这也正是为什么某些人怀疑全球单位产值能耗——生产每单位GDP所需消耗的能源数量——能否在短时间内显著下降。未来学家乔根•兰德斯(Jorgen Randers)在一份预测未来40年全球面貌的报告中预计,单位产值能耗相对于2010年时仅会下降三分之一——不足以阻止灾难性的气候变化发生。但国际能源机构总干事玛丽亚•范德胡芬(Maria van der Hoeven)依然认为:“最安全可靠的能源是我们节约下来、永远不必用到的石油或电力。”

     10级    英语科普 


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    1 economists [ɪ'kɒnəmɪsts] 2ba0a36f92d9c37ef31cc751bca1a748   第8级
    n.经济学家,经济专家( economist的名词复数 )
    参考例句:
    • The sudden rise in share prices has confounded economists. 股价的突然上涨使经济学家大惑不解。
    • Foreign bankers and economists cautiously welcomed the minister's initiative. 外国银行家和经济学家对部长的倡议反应谨慎。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    2 corporate [ˈkɔ:pərət] 7olzl   第7级
    adj.共同的,全体的;公司的,企业的
    参考例句:
    • This is our corporate responsibility. 这是我们共同的责任。
    • His corporate's life will be as short as a rabbit's tail. 他的公司的寿命是兔子尾巴长不了。
    3 emissions [ɪˈmɪʃənz] 1a87f8769eb755734e056efecb5e2da9   第7级
    排放物( emission的名词复数 ); 散发物(尤指气体)
    参考例句:
    • Most scientists accept that climate change is linked to carbon emissions. 大多数科学家都相信气候变化与排放的含碳气体有关。
    • Dangerous emissions radiate from plutonium. 危险的辐射物从钚放散出来。
    4 thereby [ˌðeəˈbaɪ] Sokwv   第8级
    adv.因此,从而
    参考例句:
    • I have never been to that city, thereby I don't know much about it. 我从未去过那座城市,因此对它不怎么熟悉。
    • He became a British citizen, thereby gaining the right to vote. 他成了英国公民,因而得到了投票权。
    5 curb [kɜ:b] LmRyy   第7级
    n.场外证券市场,场外交易;vt.制止,抑制
    参考例句:
    • I could not curb my anger. 我按捺不住我的愤怒。
    • You must curb your daughter when you are in church. 你在教堂时必须管住你的女儿。
    6 dependence [dɪˈpendəns] 3wsx9   第8级
    n.依靠,依赖;信任,信赖;隶属
    参考例句:
    • Doctors keep trying to break her dependence of the drug. 医生们尽力使她戒除毒瘾。
    • He was freed from financial dependence on his parents. 他在经济上摆脱了对父母的依赖。
    7 prominence [ˈprɒmɪnəns] a0Mzw   第10级
    n.突出;显著;杰出;重要
    参考例句:
    • He came to prominence during the World Cup in Italy. 他在意大利的世界杯赛中声名鹊起。
    • This young fashion designer is rising to prominence. 这位年轻的时装设计师的声望越来越高。
    8 lighting [ˈlaɪtɪŋ] CpszPL   第7级
    n.照明,光线的明暗,舞台灯光
    参考例句:
    • The gas lamp gradually lost ground to electric lighting. 煤气灯逐渐为电灯所代替。
    • The lighting in that restaurant is soft and romantic. 那个餐馆照明柔和而且浪漫。
    9 savings ['seɪvɪŋz] ZjbzGu   第8级
    n.存款,储蓄
    参考例句:
    • I can't afford the vacation, for it would eat up my savings. 我度不起假,那样会把我的积蓄用光的。
    • By this time he had used up all his savings. 到这时,他的存款已全部用完。
    10 minor [ˈmaɪnə(r)] e7fzR   第7级
    adj.较小(少)的,较次要的;n.辅修学科;vi.辅修
    参考例句:
    • The young actor was given a minor part in the new play. 年轻的男演员在这出新戏里被分派担任一个小角色。
    • I gave him a minor share of my wealth. 我把小部分财产给了他。
    11 technological [ˌteknə'lɒdʒɪkl] gqiwY   第7级
    adj.技术的;工艺的
    参考例句:
    • A successful company must keep up with the pace of technological change. 一家成功的公司必须得跟上技术变革的步伐。
    • Today, the pace of life is increasing with technological advancements. 当今,随着科技进步,生活节奏不断增快。
    12 boiler [ˈbɔɪlə(r)] OtNzI   第7级
    n.锅炉;煮器(壶,锅等)
    参考例句:
    • That boiler will not hold up under pressure. 那种锅炉受不住压力。
    • This new boiler generates more heat than the old one. 这个新锅炉产生的热量比旧锅炉多。
    13 boilers ['bɔɪləz] e1c9396ee45d737fc4e1d3ae82a0ae1f   第7级
    锅炉,烧水器,水壶( boiler的名词复数 )
    参考例句:
    • Even then the boilers often burst or came apart at the seams. 甚至那时的锅炉也经常从焊接处爆炸或裂开。 来自英汉非文学 - 科学史
    • The clean coal is sent to a crusher and the boilers. 干净的煤送入破碎机和锅炉。
    14 prospect [ˈprɒspekt] P01zn   第7级
    n.前景,前途;景色,视野
    参考例句:
    • This state of things holds out a cheerful prospect. 事态呈现出可喜的前景。
    • The prospect became more evident. 前景变得更加明朗了。
    15 insulation [ˌɪnsjuˈleɪʃn] Q5Jxt   第9级
    n.隔离;绝缘;隔热
    参考例句:
    • Please examine the insulation of the electric wires in my house. 请检查一下我屋子里电线的绝缘情况。
    • It is always difficult to assure good insulation between the electric leads. 要保证两个电触头之间有良好的绝缘总是很困难的。
    16 transportation [ˌtrænspɔ:ˈteɪʃn] 9mKwv   第8级
    n.运输,运输系统,运输工具
    参考例句:
    • The transportation of goods by air costs a lot. 航空运输货物花费很高。
    • He finally solved the difficulty of transportation. 他终于解决了运输的困难。
    17 cumulative [ˈkju:mjələtɪv] LyYxo   第7级
    adj.累积的,渐增的
    参考例句:
    • This drug has a cumulative effect. 这种药有渐增的效力。
    • The benefits from eating fish are cumulative. 吃鱼的好处要长期才能显现。
    18 paltry [ˈpɔ:ltri] 34Cz0   第11级
    adj.无价值的,微不足道的
    参考例句:
    • The parents had little interest in paltry domestic concerns. 那些家长对家里鸡毛蒜皮的小事没什么兴趣。
    • I'm getting angry;and if you don't command that paltry spirit of yours.如果你不能振作你那点元气我就要生气了,。
    19 rebound [rɪˈbaʊnd] YAtz1   第10级
    n. 回弹;篮板球 vi. 回升;弹回 vt. 使弹回
    参考例句:
    • The vibrations accompanying the rebound are the earth quake. 伴随这种回弹的振动就是地震。
    • Our evil example will rebound upon ourselves. 我们的坏榜样会回到我们自己头上的。
    20 investors [ɪn'vestəz] dffc64354445b947454450e472276b99   第8级
    n.投资者,出资者( investor的名词复数 )
    参考例句:
    • a con man who bilked investors out of millions of dollars 诈取投资者几百万元的骗子
    • a cash bonanza for investors 投资者的赚钱机会
    21 bishop [ˈbɪʃəp] AtNzd   第8级
    n.主教,(国际象棋)象
    参考例句:
    • He was a bishop who was held in reverence by all. 他是一位被大家都尊敬的主教。
    • Two years after his death the bishop was canonised. 主教逝世两年后被正式封为圣者。
    22 portfolio [pɔ:tˈfəʊliəʊ] 9OzxZ   第9级
    n.公事包;文件夹;大臣及部长职位
    参考例句:
    • He remembered her because she was carrying a large portfolio. 他因为她带着一个大公文包而记住了她。
    • He resigned his portfolio. 他辞去了大臣职务。
    23 sensors ['sensəz] 029aee483db9ae244d7a5cb353e74602   第8级
    n.传感器,灵敏元件( sensor的名词复数 )
    参考例句:
    • There were more than 2000 sensors here. 这里装有两千多个灵敏元件。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    • Significant changes have been noted where sensors were exposed to trichloride. 当传感器暴露在三氯化物中时,有很大变化。 来自辞典例句
    24 awareness [əˈweənəs] 4yWzdW   第8级
    n.意识,觉悟,懂事,明智
    参考例句:
    • There is a general awareness that smoking is harmful. 人们普遍认识到吸烟有害健康。
    • Environmental awareness has increased over the years. 这些年来人们的环境意识增强了。
    25 affordability [əˌfɔ:də'bɪlətɪ] b765fd6126db9695d9d5b74d209e7527   第8级
    可购性
    参考例句:
    • Performance-Based Logistics Affordability: Can We Afford Categorical Conversion to Performance-Based Acquisition? 基于性能的后期的可承受性:能否担负得起向基于性能的采办的无条件的转变?
    • There would be no crisis of affordability, as't for food or clothing. 就想食物与服装一样,因为供给没有危机。
    26 intensity [ɪnˈtensəti] 45Ixd   第7级
    n.强烈,剧烈;强度;烈度
    参考例句:
    • I didn't realize the intensity of people's feelings on this issue. 我没有意识到这一问题能引起群情激奋。
    • The strike is growing in intensity. 罢工日益加剧。
    27 innovative [ˈɪnəveɪtɪv] D6Vxq   第8级
    adj.革新的,新颖的,富有革新精神的
    参考例句:
    • Discover an innovative way of marketing. 发现一个创新的营销方式。
    • He was one of the most creative and innovative engineers of his generation. 他是他那代人当中最富创造性与革新精神的工程师之一。
    28 incentive [ɪnˈsentɪv] j4zy9   第7级
    n.刺激;动力;鼓励;诱因;动机
    参考例句:
    • Money is still a major incentive in most occupations. 在许多职业中,钱仍是主要的鼓励因素。
    • He hasn't much incentive to work hard. 他没有努力工作的动机。

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