The energy we use in everyday life falls into two general categories. The first is nonrenewable sources such as fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, coal) and nuclear (uranium). The second is renewable sources such as wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower. Each source has a unique combination of distribution, ease of access, safety, cost, and environmental impact.
The modern world runs largely on fossil fuels. But climate change now confronts society with a grand challenge: how to rapidly shift to renewable fuels and nuclear energy in a matter that maintains high living standards while reducing inequity.
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