The availability of adequate primary energy for the future is one of the essential needs of mankind. After a summary of the past history of the planet Earth, I shall give a description of the present primary energy supply and of some of the main realistic options for the future.
As it is well known, the whole industrial revolution worldwide has been dominated by the availability of fossil fuels; no doubt they will remain essential also for several decades to come. An acceptable continuity of energy supply derived from fossils will however demand far lower emissions and especially an appropriate management and control of CO2 emissions.
A very innovative R&D energy project on Natural Gas combustion with negligible CO2 emissions will be briefly described.
Methane decarburation in association with Natural Gas may become a valid alternative to Renewable Energies since, having removed the CO2, it has the capability of becoming another safe and economical primary energy source, adequate for centuries to come and with a minimal footprint and without requiring costly new infrastructures.
Professor Carlo Rubbia was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1984 (with Simon van der Meer) for the discovery at CERN of the W and Z bosons, mediators of the weak interaction. This was a major milestone in the confirmation of the Standard Model of Particle Physics. Professor Rubbia’s current works include the problem of energy supply for the future. He was elected Director-General of CERN in 1989. During his mandate, in 1993, “CERN agreed to allow anybody to use the Web protocol and code free of charge …”. During his term as President of ENEA (1999-2005) he promoted a novel method for concentrating solar power at high temperatures for energy production. Since 2013, Professor Rubbia is Life Member of the Senate of the Italian Republic. He was awarded the title of Cavaliere di Gran Croce (OMRI) in 1984 and in the same year he was elected Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS). Professor Rubbia has received many prestigious awards and honorary degrees from over 25 universities and institutes around the world and has an eponymous asteroid.