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World Energy Consumption

It's hard to imagine the sheer scale of the energy production around the world, while sitting in my living room in Skewen, South Wales.

For all the media hype around Solar, Wind and renewable energy, the global consumption of Oil, Gas and Coal is still staggering (The table below are also only Year to date figures).

A country the size of Britain with around 67 million people doesn't even make it into the top ten energy consumers in the world.

The world of modern economics is a very complicated one. No country can make a swift change to sustainability on the energy front. America is now exploiting it's huge oil reserves as it flexes its financial and security muscles globally. Russia has some of the largest natural gas reserves in the world, using those to create billions of dollars of income. China uses the cheapest forms of energy to power it's manufacturing and export businesses etc. No country wants to experience job losses on the scale that would be required to vastly shift from one power use to another. That one reason alone explains why it can take two or three generations to a policy change in government becoming a reality in the energy production companies within it's borders.

New forms of power like fracking, to release more gas from blowing up underground rock structures is reasonably new, but complex and poses an earth quake risk to nearby towns as witness in the Blackpool area in recent years

One of the biggest recent changes to how global economies can change is in Dubai. The one time oil power house, knows the oil is running out and had no choice but to re-invent itself, now into a tourist and commerce hub for the middle east.

Then of course the emergence of wind and solar. In Wales, our mountains in the south are now covered in towering wind turbines, many of which even on windy days are not producing electricity. They are not linked to power storage facilities, so can only really be used to provide power directly to the national grid.

Solar has the same challenge for power storage, but much has been done in recent years to fix this problem. The emergence of celebrity business men like Elon Musk at Tesla, has done a lot to influence public awareness of 'Harnessing, the biggest source of free power - The Sun'. If that light went out, then we'd all be doomed anyway.

Consumer demand is the likely driver of change and we see this where we live. More and more people are fitting Solar Panels to their roofs and linking them to battery packs, when provide electricity during the darkness of the night. One of the challenges with Solar is its current 10 year panel life span. However that is being addressed as science creates more efficient panels which last longer.

So here are my predictions of what will happen by 2030.

  • Consumer demand that we use less plastic, will reduce the amount of oil we use.

  • Solar panels will last 30 years and be twice as efficient as today.

  • Solar Panels will fit directly onto the roof, replacing the roof tiles themselves.

  • We'll replace gas boiler heated, water based central heating systems with electrical ones.

  • Every new home will have a battery storage system for the electricity it produces.

  • All new cars will be driven by electric motors.

  • Petrol stations will become a thing of the past.

  • Battery technology will double or triple the capacity of the battery to store electricity.

  • Wireless electricity will start to make progress.

  • As households become less reliant on Energy companies, they will have to change focus or die.

  • The Government will likely tax our energy production to replace the VAT and corporation tax revenue lost through energy companies providing us with power.

Of course these are just thought through things which might happen. For sure progress is a constant and several of the companies we see now, may not even exist by then in this ever changing world we live in.


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