Global Energy Demand Can Only Increase


There’s an unimaginable urbanization boom occurring around the world that means more energy use. We, of course, don’t see much of it here in the West, but global cities swell in population by some 80 million people every year: e.g., the rise of the “megacity” with 10 million residents. Basically all population growth in the decades ahead will take place in urban areas, all of which will be in the still developing nations (non-OECD), where poverty and insufficient access to energy is far more rampant than our worst nightmares could ever imagine. And just look to the West to see why urbanization is desirable. The rich, developed nations have urbanization rates of 85% and above, versus less than 40% for some of the world’s massively populated countries, such as India and Bangladesh. The world today is only 55% urban, and that will rise to 75% before 2050. No wonder: moving to a city brings greater employment prospects, more educational opportunities, better health care, more access to cultural activities, and an overall higher quality of life. Urbanites have more money and access so they consume more energy: “Urbanization: Reducing Poverty and Helping the Environment. The global energy demand trend is increasingly… up.

The world is increasingly urban, meaning more money and more energy.

Indeed, the reality is that the world is tragically and overwhelmingly poor, far beyond the comprehension of the rich Westerners trying to dictate global energy policies. Over 80% of all people live in still developing countries, or some 6 in every 7 humans. These unfortunate souls live in the backwater of humanity, increasingly becoming an afterthought to a Western world ignoring their present and immense energy needs – rich folks forcing the poor to not use the same energy that made them rich. They are dangerously forced to use biomass for energy, like wood and dung, sadly destined to perish long before their time. It’s women and children that suffer the most because they are the ones filling their days with mundane tasks like collecting wood, never any time to better their economic condition. Some 16,000 children under age 5 die every day from preventable causes, which is enabled by poverty, which is enabled by a lack of energy. That’s a city-proper population of Miami wiped out every month by problems we solved over a century ago. Take electricity, the sine qua non of a modern society. At less than 2,500 kWh per capita per year, over half the world uses less than 40% what the average Europe consumes and less than 20% of what we Americans use. Again, the richest, healthiest nations on Earth devouring the most energy and now demanding that the world’s poor can’t do the same. Over 600 million Sub-Saharan Africans have no electricity whatsoever: “Electrify Africa and Save Hundreds of Millions of Lives.” All UN poverty reduction goals have access to electricity as a prerequisite. Global power consumption will more than double over the next 30 years.

I’m convinced that most Westerners think: “You just flip a switch and electricity appears. It’s…like magic… dude”

And as for oil and natural gas, two sources that supply 60% of the world’s total energy. The reality is that many massively populated countries have JUST STARTED to consume:What If India And China Used Natural Gas And Oil Like The U.S.? For these reasons, the U.S. Department of Energy concludes that global oil and gas demand will respectively surge 22% and 66% from 2020 to 2050. Regardless of what you keep hearing and what some want you to think, eradicating poverty is justifiability the first priority of all governments: “The Paris Climate Accords Are Looking More and More Like Fantasy.” More energy is truly the heart of it all. The global energy demand trend is increasingly… up. Air Conditioning Another everyday example of why the world will clearly be using more energy in the decades ahead is air conditioning: “Global Warming, More Air Conditioning, and More Energy.” Yep, given such dismal electricity access and poverty globally, most of the world doesn’t have that little cooling thing we all take for granted. So much more electricity-powered cooling is surely coming: the big cities of the still developing nations are far hotter than those in the West. The U.S., for instance, uses more electricity for air conditioning alone than Mexico (with 135 million people) uses in total for everything. And remember more cooling for homes, businesses, and hospitals is absolutely essential for human health and longevity: of extreme weather, heat easily causes the most fatalities.

Paris is no more important than Lagos; Los Angeles is no more important than Karachi

The global energy demand trend is increasingly… up. Conclusion The harsh reality for some is that all energy sources will have a crucial role to play for decades to come: global demand is surging that fast. Simply put, in a still overwhelmingly poor and energy-deprived world, latent energy consumption is far more immense than what some want you to believe. Free advice to my fellow Westerners: travel the world to realize the horrific depth of poverty out there, mostly enabled by a lack of the energy that you and I take for granted. My promise: You will become a better and more understanding person for it. You will stop demonizing the poor for wanting to use the same energy that you use; You will start realizing the dangerous hypocrisy of the jet setting “climate hawks.” The world’s poor want and deserve the same high living standards, healthier lives, and huge incomes that we Westerners enjoy. Thankfully, the global energy demand trend is increasingly… up.   This article appeared on the Forbes website at https://www.forbes.com/sites/judeclemente/2019/07/05/global-energy-demand-can-only-increase/#3b3064335a55]]>

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