Energy analysis uncovers interesting trends

By Shobhit Mahajan
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015 | 03:16:47 AM

WORLD ENERGY: BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE Lee Schipper et al Publisher: Stockholm Environment Institute Price: Not stated

WHAT DO the Gulf War, Greenhouse effect and the Narmada project have in common? They are all related to energy, an issue that took centre stage in the 1970s.

The oil crisis of 19 made the West realise it could no longer take for granted the supply of cheap oil, so essential for the maintenance of their obnoxious levels of consumption. Energy conservation, whether by fuel efficient cars, or by slightly cooler homes, became commonplace and growing environmental awareness played a role in introducing as a topic energy in developmental and scientific discourse.

This book, which deals with issues related to energy supply and use, is an important, well-documented and comprehensive addition to the growing literature on energy studies. Past trends in energy use are analysed to determine energy trends. For this purpose, the authors divided the countries into three categories -- industrial (OECD), transitional the erstwhile Socialist bloc) and developing countries. The author also provide a sectoral break-up into manufacturing, passenger travel, freight transport, residential and services.

The data from 1970 to 1990 show some interesting trends. Energy use in manufacturing in the OECD countries declined by about 30 per cent, indicating not only technological innovation but also a shift towards the service sector. The share of the developing countries of energy use increased from 20 per cent to 31 per cent while that of the industrialised countries declined from 60 per cent to 48 per cent. If the past was grim, the future looks dismal. Modeling energy use in different sectors, the authors have developed a number of scenarios for future energy consumption. The most plausible is that of a growth of 25 percent to 35 per cent in energy use over the next 20 years. This is certainly bad news environmentally and economically, particularly for the developing countries. The good news is that there is a tremendous potential for energy conservation in the industrial and the developing world. In the industrial countries alone, the authors say, a 22 per cent reduction in energy use is possible if measures such as higher fuel prices to reflect the environmental costs are adopted.

On the supply side, there is an urgent need to alter the energy mix to a more susta WHAT DO the Gulf War, Greenhouse effect and the Narmada project have in common? They are all related to energy, an issue that took centre stage in the 1970s.

The oil crisis of 19 made the West realise it could no longer take for granted the supply of cheap oil, so essential for the maintenance of their obnoxious levels of consumption. Energy conservation, whether by fuel efficient cars, or by slightly cooler homes, became commonplace and growing environmental awareness played a role in introducing as a topic energy in developmental and scientific discourse.

This book, which deals with issues related to energy supply and use, is an important, well-documented and comprehensive addition to the growing literature on energy studies. Past trends in energy use are analysed to determine energy trends. For this purpose, the authors divided the countries into three categories -- industrial (OECD), transitional the erstwhile Socialist bloc) and developing countries. The author also provide a sectoral break-up into manufacturing, passenger travel, freight transport, residential and services.

The data from 1970 to 1990 show some interesting trends. Energy use in manufacturing in the OECD countries declined by about 30 per cent, indicating not only technological innovation but also a shift towards the service sector. The share of the developing countries of energy use increased from 20 per cent to 31 per cent while that of the industrialised countries declined from 60 per cent to 48 per cent. If the past was grim, the future looks dismal. Modeling energy use in different sectors, the authors have developed a number of scenarios for future energy consumption. The most plausible is that of a growth of 25 percent to 35 per cent in energy use over the next 20 years. This is certainly bad news environmentally and economically, particularly for the developing countries. The good news is that there is a tremendous potential for energy conservation in the industrial and the developing world. In the industrial countries alone, the authors say, a 22 per cent reduction in energy use is possible if measures such as higher fuel prices to reflect the environmental costs are adopted.

On the supply side, there is an urgent need to aler cent in energy use over the next 20 years. This is certainly bad news environmentally and economically, particularly for the developing countries. The good news is that there is a tremendous potential for energy conservation in the industrial and the developing world. In the industrial countries alone, the authors say, a 22 per cent reduction in energy use is possible if measures such as higher fuel prices to reflect the environmental costs are adopted.

On the supply side, there is an urgent need to aler cent in energy mix to a more sustainable one. With increasing environmental concern, it is imperative that cleaner supplies are developed and their use encouraged. This, of course, is as much a political as technical problem.

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