How much do you know about world energy consumption

Source:Wasion group Author:admin Date:2012/8/6 11:08:02

First of all, let’s look at the development of world energy consumption. Fossil fuel consumption has increased sharply since the industrial revolution in the 1870s. Coal was the mainstream in the beginning. But exploration and consumption of petroleum and natural gas have grown dramatically since the 20th century, particularly the Second World War, at a speed of 200 million tons a year. Although oil price surged due to the two oil crises in the 1970s, we have seen no reduction in oil consumption. To address this, world energy structure needs changes, so nuclear power, hydropower and thermal power as well as other energies have been developed and utilized gradually. Nuclear power generation has boomed since this by-product of nuclear weapon for military use in WWII was peacefully used. Many countries have embraced the age of atomic energy. For example, 40% of Japan’s power generation relies on nuclear power. What about the current world energy consumption? In 1994, for example, the world’s total energy consumption was 7.98 billion tons, of which petroleum accounted for 39.3%, coal for 28.8% and natural gas for 21.6% while fossil fuel for 3%. The annual energy consumption of Japan, one of the world’s leading industrial countries, accounts for 6.5% of world’s total, of which 82.4% is fossil fuel. New energy, including hydropower generation, only takes 5%, although we spare no efforts in developing new energy. The outlook is not good.

Finally, let’s predict future energy consumption. Now the Earth has a population of about 6 billion and it is estimated that the world population will reach 10 billion by middle 21st century. In terms of the population growth alone, the increase of energy consumption will be spectacular. In addition, South-North differences exist in the structure of energy consumption, namely, developed countries consume 3/4 of the world’s energy and the US has the highest energy consumption per capita, which is more than five times of the world’s average consumption; on the other hand, China’s energy consumption per capita is very low and the energy consumption per capita in many countries is less than 1/10 of the world’s average level. Therefore, we must consider the impact of improving life in developing countries on future energy consumption, and energy will definitely be inadequate. Our energy is limited. With such considerable consumption, our energy resources will dry up one day, like forests will become wastelands if we just cut down trees without planting new ones. Currently, the world’s energy consumption, converted into petroleum, is about 8 billion tons/year, and for a population of 4 billion, the average consumption is 2 tons/per capita per year. At such a speed, oil will run out by 2040; nuclear power and natural gas will dry up by 2060. The energy on the Earth cannot meet the demand of nearly 11.6 billion people. As world population keeps growing, energy shortage will come earlier than expected. So, the development and utilization of new energy in the 21st century are no longer a topic in the future, but one that is of vital importance to the destiny of coming generations and brooks no delay.