Number of planet Earths we need
to provide resources and absorb our waste
...Energy Consumption, Energy Savings and Global Warming. What do they mean and how do they affect us? World Energy Consumption in a nutshell, is the total energy consumed by our civilization. It is measured per year, across all countries. It computes the total consumption based on the amount of energy we harness, and the amount of energy we consume (1).
We use energy in several ways: Commercial, Residential, Industrial and Transportation. So, you see, you as an individual contribute to our energy consumption – both positively and negatively.
With the advent of technology, developing countries all over the world consumed energy at an unprecedented rate. We are aptly called the Fossil Fuel Age.
200 years ago, Our activities relied mostly on our own energy. We performed tasks using our own power. But with the industrial boom and the invention of machinery, we now rely more on Fossil Fuels to run things.
The issue that we face now is that our energy sources are not infinite. One day, we will run out of oil or they will be so scarce that the available energy will no longer be affordable.
The U.S Energy Information Administration predicts that the current world energy consumption will increase by 56% between 2010 and 2040 (2). The increase in population does not help.
Currently, our civilization consumes around 17.7 Terawatts of power taken from all sources of energy, namely oil, coal, natural gas and alternative energies such as solar, wind, hydropower and others (1).
17.7 Terawatts is a big number. To give you an idea, 1 Terawatt can power 10 billion, 100 watt bulbs at the same time!
But due to the exploding awareness all over the world, several countries are joining the effort to save energy and find other sources such as solar power, wind energy and alternatives to oil.
There is a more serious effort to find an energy source that will not damage our environment and be more easily sustainable and therefore, cheaper.
The goal is to be able to keep our energy supplies balanced with the ever growing needs, of our ever growing population.
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