Energy Demand Reserves and Kyoto

It can be argued that perhaps 2,000 Watt per person and year might be a good number to lead a decent life. The World Bank came up with the Human Development Index (HDI). The HDI is a summary measure of human development. It measures the average achievements of a country in three basic dimensions of human development:

• A long and healthy life, as measured by life expectancy at birth;

• Knowledge, as measured by the adult literacy rate and the combined primary, secondary and tertiary enrolment ratio; and

• A decent standard of living, as measured by GNP per capita.

Figure 1 shows a relation between energy and economic growth (i.e., GNP) — there is no development without energy. However, the amount of energy needed for a decent life must certainly not be in the neighbourhood

Fig. 1. The energy and poverty linkages
Fig. 2. Fundamental Energy System Dynamics

of 10,000 Watt per person and year — 2,000 Watt might after all not be too bad a figure when it comes to human development. This figure is close to the world average.

Figure 2 gives some indications about energy system dynamics. The higher the GDP of a country, the more energy goes into transport — as is the case for some 40% of the industrialized world; the automobile is the dominant energy user in transportation. Air transport shows the biggest increases in energy use, followed by road transport.

Figure 3 shows in a convincing way Switzerland's energy consumption patterns being dependent on the first oil shock in the early seventies. As a consequence, heating oil consumption went down, electricity use went up. Quite clearly, there is a substitution effect. There is a point to be made, namely: one should not consider oil alone but in combination with electricity. There is the possibility for substitution. Certainly, one question is how electricity is produced. In the case of Switzerland, 60% is hydraulic and 40% nuclear. If one wants to reduce CO2-emissions, one might seriously consider substituting heating oil with heat pumps driven by electricity. This makes sense if even the electricity is produced by a combined-cycle power plant fired with natural gas. The automobile, as mentioned earlier, is the biggest user of fossil fuel, and is an extremely complex system when it comes to powertrain, fuels, fuel infrastructure, emissions, costs, etc. What

1910 1920

Transportation Fuel

Heating Oil

1970 1980 1990 2000

□ Transportation Fuel TJ

□ District heat TJ

□ Garbage and industrial refuse TJ

□ Add. renewable energy TJ

Quelle: BFE

1910 1920

Transportation Fuel

Heating Oil

1940 1950

1970 1980 1990 2000

□ Electricity TJ

□ Transportation Fuel TJ

□ District heat TJ

□ Garbage and industrial refuse TJ

□ Add. renewable energy TJ

Quelle: BFE

Fig. 3. Final energy consumption Switzerland, 1910-2001

Fig. 3. Final energy consumption Switzerland, 1910-2001

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 SOO 900 1000

Speed v km/ih Fig. 4. End-energy consumption, passenger transport does this all mean? As a first priority, one should reserve liquid fuels for transport and substitute heating oil.

It might be a good idea to look at energy consumption for passenger transport. Figure 4 shows that trains are an effective method of transport, provided the capacity is well used. The same holds for cars and air trans port. This means, without talking about load factor, comparisons are not too valid.

Now let's have a look into the future. Without any doubt primary energy consumption will increase dramatically over the next couple of decades. Scenarios vary quite a bit, but one could imagine energy demand doubling within the next 30 years. And the majority of this energy demand will be covered by fossil fuel. Even without all the facts in, climate change due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions appears to become more and more a reality. There will be winners and losers; we are still not in position to differentiate clearly who they are. It is, however, a fairly safe bet that the poor countries will be the losers. The USA, stretching over different climate zones and being rich, might not be too much affected. If we do not want the CO2-concentration, the major greenhouse gas, to more than double to 550 ppm by the year 2100 (compared to the pre-industrial time), one would have to reduce fossil energy consumption by up to 50% relative to today's consumption — an extremely ambitious undertaking. This reduction figure is only a rough estimate, depending on the CO2-emissons over the remaining part of this century.

At this point one has to talk about reserves of fossil fuels. Measured in 2004 production, the proven reserves are 164 years for coal, 40 for oil and 67 years for gas (BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2005). The ultimate reserves are in excess of 1000 years for coal, in excess of 100 years for oil and 200 years for gas. These data are quite unreliable due to confidentiality, poor reporting practices and for financial and political reasons. There is quite a bit of concern oil production might reach its maximum in the time frame 2015-2030 with the consequences being steeply rising oil prices. At this point mankind will do all the things one ought to do already now, namely reduce dramatically our consumption of fossil fuels and substitute them with renewables.

We all know the majority of oil reserves lay is the Middle East — a politically unstable region. The outlook for changing this for the better anytime soon is bleak.

From all the arguments given emerges the following picture. We do have to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels dramatically over the next couple of decades for the following reasons:

• Today's energy supply is dependent on fossil fuels to the tune of some

• Fossil fuels are finite but still sufficient for the next decades;

• The large oil supplies lie in a politically unstable world region; and

• The danger of climate change as a result of greenhouse gas emissions is increasingly getting bigger.

Even without climate change, we do have to act now in a more decisive way.

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