27 February 2013

An Ambition Gap for Global Energy Access?

I have a new column up at The Breakthrough Institute which asks, "How Much Energy Does the World Need?" In it I apply a methodology of "backcasting" to calculate how much energy consumption is implied by postulating that in 2035 global per capita energy consumption equals that of Bulgaria, Germany and the US in 2010. The results imply a big gap in energy access as you or I might understand it and (a)  projections of where the world is headed and (b) official definitions of what constitutes "energy access" (see figure above).

Lots of numbers crunched and three bottom-line conclusions reached -- comments/critique welcomed. See it here and please feel free to return and comment.

1 comment:

  1. I saw in your article the idea that those who champion climate concerns and those who champion energy access concerns will find themselves as strange bedfellows in the coming decades, aligned along mutually beneficial goals.

    I'm not sure I agree with that, as there is a huge disconnect among those concerned with climate change; being simultaneously for increasing energy infrastructure (in the renewable sense), but against it where they happen to live. If you read along with many of these same folks' musings, there are reasons to be against nuclear, wind, solar, biomass, hydro, natural gas-- basically anything that isn't geothermal or something. And considering the 'energy-access' crowd's unterstanding of how much additional power will need to come online to make their goals a reality, how can the two square?

    Already we've got coal plants shutting down and/or transitioning to Natural Gas in the US, and not yet even being replaced well in the UK. How could the situation get any easier going forward if these two