Mathematics Awareness Month - April 2013
Mathematics of Sustainability

Learn more about the interconnected nature of these resources

Learn more about Alternative Energy Learn more about Agriculture Learn more about Normal Distribution Learn more about Trees Learn more about Climate Learn more about Oil Learn more about Logistic Equations Learn more about Glaciers Learn more about Cities Learn more about the Gini Coefficient Learn more about Fishing

Alternative Energy

Oil RigsThere are numerous sustainable energy approaches being developed and implemented including a variety of wind and solar energy technologies. Mathematical modeling is used in designing efficient turbines and solar cells and, together with weather data, helps engineers figure out promising locations for wind turbines and solar panels. These alternative energies offer the promise of long-term energy supplies with reduced carbon emissions and less impact on climate change. But mathematical analysis also points out that these types of low intensity energy sources must be spread across large areas if they are to produce the huge amounts of energy our society uses. We must face the difficult issue of where to locate these fluctuating sources of energy and how to efficiently transmit their energy to areas of need.

In developing countries around the world, there are 1.3 billion people without electricity and 2.7 billion people who do not have access to cooking and heating fuel. These countries are “energy poor”. The United Nations Secretary General has initiated a twenty year campaign called Sustainable Energy for All that aims to provide increased access to energy to raise standards of living in developing countries and to do so using sustainable energy approaches so as not to contribute yet further to climate change.  Economists use mathematics to help develop such plans and then carefully collect and analyze data to track the progress of the initiatives.

Many of the world’s people that will be negatively impacted by climate change have not enjoyed the benefits of the fossil fuel era. How do we mange the change from fossil fuels to renewable energies fairly?

‹ Return to poster

Mathematics Awareness Month is sponsored each year by the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics to recognize the importance of mathematics through written materials and an accompanying poster that highlight mathematical developments and applications in a particular area.
Questions or comments about this site may be directed to mamsupport