Growth, GDP and energy consumption

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Energy and Economic Growth: A BRIEF SUMMARY! by Remi Guillet. 1ere Party: growth and energy.

Read 2 part: the energy sources in the world.

About the author Rémi Guillet

Remi Guillet

Rémi Guillet Engineer ECN (eg ENSM), he was graduated in 1966. He has a doctorate in mechanical energy of the Univ. Poincare Nancy 1 (2002) and a DEA Economy Paris 13 (2001)

Energy and economic growth.

When we talk about energy worldwide is basically talking about fossil fuels, other forms of primary energy still remaining anecdotal today (less than 5%!).

With the practice of fire, fossil energy was imposed on men as evidence, first in solid form (coal), then liquid (oil) finally in gaseous form (natural gas). Its presence everywhere on the planet, its apparent "abundance", its relative ease of use, will have made fossil energy the basis of the economic growth of the nineteenth and especially of that, extraordinary, that will have known the second half of the 20th century.

And the desire to optimize the use of each of these "forms" (phases say the physicists) has spawned innovations and other technological breakthroughs often brilliant (steam engine, thermal engines ...) some of which will have been boosted by major conflicts what happened in the 20th century ...

Instead of fossil fuels in the world between 1980 and 2005: 96%!
(Source / DOE-USA)

primary energy consumption in the world

Wood not counted (about 10% of total)
* toe means "tonne oil equivalent" of so-called "primary" energy
NB: The total is not strictly 100% because the values ​​for fossil fuels are rounded%.

At the end of evaluating these percentages energy magnitudes, note that the total world energy consumption (excluding wood) was estimated to 10 giga tonnes oil equivalent (Gtoe) in the year 2000.

But the first purpose of this article is to emphasize the almost perfect correlation between growth (GDP), energy consumption (thus essentially fossil energy) and emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) that shows the following figure (at least for the OECD countries) ... in order to deduce some education for years to come.

We can also identify in this figure temporary decreases in three indicators as a result of 3 oil shocks (1973, 1979, 2000) ...

Finally we can also be noted that for an extra point of economic growth, it consumes about 0,5 point in addition to primary energy, while emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2, water, N0x, methane ...) increased 0,3 points .

primary energy consumption and GDP for the OECD

Between 1970 and 2001 (100 1970 base)

* GHGs: carbon dioxide (the principal), methane, water, ozone, nitrogen oxide, fluorinated gases ...
(Source BP Statistical review for energy, OECD GDP)

For readers wishing to assess the correlation, they just postpone, on two axes-for example GDP x-axis and GHG, energy consumed, in orderly, three points for each year to see two sets of almost perfectly aligned points (or even a single line if the scales for this purpose is chosen).

These correlations are observed, so just to focus on the evolution of one of these data to know that of all. So we chose to focus on the dark side of the extraordinary economic development that we have just experienced following a longer period changes in the content of the atmosphere by greenhouse gases or more exactly and convenience metrological that of atmospheric CO2, usual indicator of GHG (it is estimated that only CO2 is responsible 55 60% to% of the greenhouse effect due to human activity) ...

While the figure below clearly shows the transition from a linear growth in an exponential growth pace at the end of 50 years!

Evolution CO2 atmosphere since 1850 by coring

An anecdote to say that the 80 years should give us the opportunity to lecture on the most efficient techniques of use of hydrocarbons but also on the "future of the oil sector" in front of an anxious public of the resource after the first two "shocks" "... with remarks deemed" incongruent "by most listeners when we pointed out that the oil crisis would be overtaken by the environmental crisis caused by the intensive use of fossil fuels (it was enough to compare the dynamics of the evolution of CO2 emissions with what they were when the atmospheric content could be considered stabilized ... to get an idea of ​​what would happen!) ... But the attention of the audience was mostly elsewhere!

- Learn more and discuss about forums: Energy and GDP Synthesis
- Read 2 part: the energy sources in the world


1 comment on "Growth, GDP and energy consumption"

  1. Info author Rémi Guillet ... (the 01 06 16)

    We can also read Rémi Guillet's academic article "Energy and Economic Growth: Overview and Global Challenges" published in the 10 October issue 2010, vol.9 of the "Environmental Engineering and Management Journal" p. 1357-1362

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