Environmental Engineering Reference
seem to be only a matter of time. If the industrialized countries halve their energy
needs in the meantime and the developing countries follow our example, this would
help considerably in slowing down the rise in energy requirements.
Along with the growing per capita energy requirements in developing and emerging
countries, the continuous rise in the world's population is also adding to the steady
increase in energy demand. Between 1960 and 2000 the world population doubled,
and energy requirements tripled. Worldwide energy demand has been increasing
almost as quickly as the population since 1980 (Figure 4.6). If the world population
continues to climb at this rate and reaches nine billion by 2050, this alone will mean
a 50% increase in energy demand - even without any increase in per capita energy
Figure 4.6 Development of worldwide primary energy demand and increase in world
These facts clearly show that energy-saving measures are enormously important in
at least putting a brake on the increasing demand for energy worldwide. However,
these measures alone will not be enough to achieve a major reduction in worldwide
greenhouse gas emissions over the next 50 years. Along with implementing every
conceivable measure to save energy, the most important thing will be to ensure that
those energy requirements that cannot be eliminated are at least carbon-free. There
is also a comprehensive solution to this: renewable energies.
4.2 Renewable Energy Sources - No End to
What is Available
The options for supplying climate-compatible energy discussed above offer only
limited possibilities for reducing carbon dioxide. The situation is totally different
with renewable energy sources: these offer us almost unlimited potential.