How much additional energy can be sourced due to global development?

To answer the question above, we must first define what developments we expect in the future. There are three main factors that we should take into consideration:

  1. The growth of the world population
  2. The fact that more and more countries will become emerging countries and will thus develop higher standards of living
  3. The continued development of energy saving actions and technologies

Let us begin with the growth of the world population. The most likely estimate is depicted in the following graph:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This forecast was made in 2007, and we can observe that world population growth is currently closely following this graph. It is quite probable that the world population will amount to approximately 9 billion people in 2050.

All of the BRIC countries are developing properly at the present time. Additional countries in South America and in Africa will become emerging countries within the next several years. We should expect their energy demand to increase during the next years. What sort of energy demands will these countries have in the future? To estimate these demands, let us examine the energy demands of various countries today and predictions of energy demands until 2030:

The chart below presents detailed data (in quadrillion BTU) of actual and predicted energy consumption worldwide according to geographic area:

Region

2003

2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

Average Annual Percent Change, 2003–2030

OECD

234.3

256.1

269.9

281.6

294.5

308.8

1.0

 
North America

118.3

131.4

139.9

148.4

157.0

166.2

1.3

 
Europe

78.9

84.4

87.2

88.7

91.3

94.5

0.7

 
Asia

37.1

40.3

42.8

44.4

46.1

48.0

1.0

 
Non-OECD

186.4

253.6

293.5

331.5

371.0

412.8

3.0

 
Europe and
Eurasia

48.5

56.5

62.8

68.7

74.0

79.0

1.8

 
Asia

83.1

126.2

149.4

172.8

197.1

223.6

3.7

 
Middle East

19.6

25.0

28.2

31.2

34.3

37.7

2.4

 
Africa

13.3

17.7

20.5

22.3

24.3

26.8

2.6

 
Central
and South America

21.9

28.2

32.5

36.5

41.2

45.7

2.8

 
Total World

420.7

509.7

563.4

613.0

665.4

721.6

2.0

 

 

I would expect the large increase in energy demand between 2030 and 2050 to arise mainly in Africa and South America. We should expect developed countries not to increase their energy demands, as they seek out energy saving solutions. The greatest additional demand will come from Africa and South America. We can thus estimate an energy demand of approximately 900 quadrillion BTU or 263.774.700GWh in 2050.

In light of the fact that all countries will take energy saving actions, this figure may decrease to 200.000.000 GWh in 2050. Let us now turn to current sources of energy and attempt to predict how energies will be sourced in the future. Let us first take a look at the EIA’s forecast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This forecast reveals that we are facing a very serious problem. According to the EIA’s forecast, fossil energy usage will continue to rise. Personally, I believe that we have already reached the peak of oil and gas sourcing ore or will reach it in the near future. From this perspective, the forecast seems unrealistic. To overcome this problem, it is necessary to dramatically increase the share of renewable energies used at a rapid pace. We must reduce fossil energy usage in order to reduce CO2 emissions and to ensure a continuous energy supply on earth. It is more than a question of CO2 emissions. Already in the near future, we will have to face the fact that our fossil energy sources have been used up.

From this perspective, I am surprised about the discussions regarding energy costs and investment in research for renewable energies. Not doing our homework now will result in hindering development on earth and will perhaps lead to energy wares in the future. We have discussed several solutions related to changing energy sourcing on this blog, and I believe that solutions have been presented that could prevent a worldwide energy shortage. We must find a way of explaining this issue to a wide range of people. If we do not begin decisively changing energy sourcing now, we face a dark future. We must explain and demonstrate this issue to intelligent leaders, who are capable of understanding these facts.

 

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