Increased Energy Consumption
Sorry about the non-existent posting for the past couple of weeks. I’m working on a report on the market for photovoltaics for the next five years and am approaching deadline.
In case you’re not a faithful reader of this blog, here’s a brief recap:
- I contend that the developing world will be using more energy than is projected by the DOE’s Energy Information Agency and the IEA
- The difference is enough to be important for policy decisions
- We are sleepwalking into an environment where we will be making up the difference between projections and reality with coal
- This will have negative impacts on the environment
A case in point is Brazil. The DOE’s EIA projects the developing world will increase energy consumption at a rate of 2.4% per year between now and 2030. My calculations, published here, show that a growth rate of near 5% is far more in line with reality. Their year-on-year consumption, as reported here, was 5.9%.
China, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, saw its energy consumption increase 136% in the decade ending in 2011. If they slow down to 2.4% annually, there will be rioting in the streets. Their current electricity consumption is yo-yoing back and forth, but the lowest it has been is 3.7% in April, down from 13% in December.
3000 Quads is about energy for the 21st century. The world’s population is now estimated to peak at between 9 and 10 billion people somewhere around 2075. If they use energy at the same rate as the average American, they will consume 3,000 quadrillion btus. That isn’t written in stone–the Danes use half as much energy per person as Americans and they have a pretty good life. The developing world could aim for a Danish lifestyle instead of Yankee over-exuberance. But if it comes to pass, then we face a dilemma. If most of that energy is provided by burning coal, we face something close to disaster. My name is Tom Fuller. I work at a solar power company called Sungevity, a premiere provider of solar power to homeowners in the United States.
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