CAUSE 2015: Sustainable Energy in Scandinavia: One Region, Many Choices investigated the political, economic, scientific and technological factors driving the recovery and utilization of energy in contemporary society contrasting past and planned development Scandinavia, plus Iceland and the Netherlands. Students charted the catalysts of enabling energy technologies, the necessity of abundant sources of inexpensive energy, and the evolution from agrarian to industrial economies in each of these countries.
Students explored and defined key factors contributing to the evolution of energy choices in Scandinavia – and in particular towards a sustainable energy future. This region is of particular interest as it is geographically compact, with a common Nordic ancestry, but has selected broadly different modes of development that utilizes various mixtures of sustainable and non-renewable energy resources, as necessary. These principal resources include geothermal energy (Iceland), hydropower (Iceland and Norway), both oil (Norway) and gas (Netherlands) together with wind (Denmark) with a substantial reliance on nuclear power (Sweden and Finland). Current status and future developments were viewed from constraints on natural resources, contemporary views of environmental protection, and new trends in green engineering and industrial ecology of energy and materials flows.