Folder 2 World Energy

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Folder 1 has given a broad outline of how energy from the sun is converted into terrestrial energy forms such as heating, wind, hydropower and wave power and biomass. All are RENEWABLE as the sun will keep emitting radiation for the foreseeable future Other energy sources, geothermal and tidal (mostly caused by the moon but also depending on the position of the sun), can be considered as renewable  as these are geological in origin and are therefore long lasting. Fuels, both fossil and nuclear, will be depleted towards the end of this century and, after this, we will have to revert back to renwable energy as the ONLY energy source.

A useful compendium of how countries of the world obtain their energy supply is given below:

On page 47 we see a list of countries showing both their import and export of energy.

From the folder 1 "Energy in a Nutshell" we see that the total rate of energy use from fossil fuels  is 1.7 x 1013 W. A physicist/ scientist is happy to use the UNITS Watts for power and Joules for energy but engineers from the petrochemical industry are much more familiar with the unit TONNE OF OIL EQUIVALENT , toe, for energy. This is basically the energy content of a "standard" tonne of oil and to convert to JOULES we need a conversion factor.

On page 58 a conversion table is presented and this is given below:

( Multiples for powers of TEN   deca da 10; hecto h 102 ; kilo k 103 ; mega M 106 ; giga G  10 9 ; tera T 1012 ; peta P 1015 ; exa E 1018  .)

A quick check may be made on the conversion procedure.

In the present year  (2015) we expect the GLOBAL energy use as 1.7 x 1013  multiplied by the number of seconds in one year 3.1 x 107 

Thus, we find global energy use per annum is 5.27 x 1020 Joules

Now, on page 47 the world energy consumption is listed as 13461 Mtoe for the previous year (2014) but we can easily convert this to Tera Joule with a factor of 41868, Thus, the consumption is 5.63 x 108 TJ or 5.63 x 1020 J, as Tera signifies 1012, and we can see that the predicted energy use for this year is very similar to that used in the previous year.

Perhaps a fairer way to judge the energy consumed by each country is to list the total energy consumption divided by the population of the country; we call this the energy per capita. This value is shown graphically for a few countries of the world:

On a broader scan of history it is clear the world energy use is rising at an alarming rate. The graphs show that even when population effects are taken into account the increased use of energy is not sustainable.

PS There may be those people who love statistics and the United Nations compile lots and  LOTS of data so I leave the following for bed-time reading.

 In energy terms the twentieth century cannot be repeated in the twenty first century and serious efforts are needed to plan for a sustainable future. Several predictions show that energy use will have to be curtailed as supplies will dwindle as shown below:

One can only hope that world leaders have the vision to tackle this problem.

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