|The look of true energy innovation|
The International Energy Agency (IEA) is worried about the billion people on the planet who live in “energy poverty.” An interesting thing about this figure is that it hasn’t changed much in 200 years. In 1813, the world population is estimated to have been about a billion. In 1913, it was about 1.8 billion. Two hundred years ago, no one had electricity and the only industrial form of energy was steam produced from burning coal and wood. One hundred years ago, the first electrical grids were being built and a few hundred million people were gaining access to electricity. Thus the really interesting trend in energy poverty is that the numbers, in a sense, have not improved at all. We now have a global population of about 7 billion, with six billion people not in energy poverty, and thanks to this fantastic achievement we live with toxic pollution and an ecological crisis. We could say it might have been better if the human race had focused on stabilizing the population at a couple billion, rather than trying to provide an unlimited amount of energy to whatever number of people the world population rose to. The historical trend reveals that the real problem has not been a shortage of energy, but rather over-consumption, over-population and unequal distribution of resources.
|Population growth projections|