Relentless rise in energy consumption

The latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy shows the world is continuing to undergo a relentless rise in energy consumption.  If anything the rate of energy consumption is increasing.  The only time in recent years this relentless rise in energy consumption has abated was in 2009 the year after the global economic crash.

bp energy data 2014The latest data also shows that depressingly most of our energy still comes from oil, gas and coal.  The consumption of coal, gas and oil is still growing, although the consumption of oil is slowing relative to the others.  The renewable sources are at the top of the graph.  But for example for all the talk of solar power its numbers are all but invisible.  The only major renewable is hydro-power which is not always climate friendly.

We have a long way to go to reach a sustainable climate friendly energy system and little time to achieve this.  How much more the global climate and stocks of fossil fuels can cope with this relentless rise in energy consumption is open to conjecture.  The BP data takes no account of rising consumption. We simply have to learn to use less energy and are finding it hard to do so.  It seems likely that this is a lesson that will be foisted on us by a crisis.  In a separate blog post I will look at the renewables data.

Neil

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