WORLD ENERGY DEVELOPMENT FACES SERIOUS CHALLENGES
In the past 50 years, the total energy consumption worldwide has increased from 5.4 billion tons of standard coal to 18.5 billion tons of standard coal, among which, the consumption of fossil fuels has increased from 5.1 billion tons of standard coal to 15.9 billion tons of standard coal, accounting for over 85% of the primary energy. The overdependence on fossil energy has seriously threatened human survival and development.
World energy is faced with the challenge of resource shortage. In the last 50 years, we have consumed 235 billion tons of coal, 1600 billion tons of gas and 97 trillion cubic meters of natural gas in total. In 2014, the annual production of coal, oil and natural gas around the globe reached 8.16 billion tons, 4.22 billion tons and 3.5 trillion cubic meters respectively. The global coal, oil and natural gas can only be available for another 110, 53 and 54 years if we keep on developing them as much as we do now.
The production, transportation and utilization can cause severe pollution to water, soil and air. There are 120 million tons of sulfur dioxide emitted due to energy consumption every year around the world, let alone other pollutants like nitrogen oxides and soot.
The rise of the average surface temperature on earth is closely related to the increased concentration of carbon dioxide. Since the industrial revolution, its density in the atmosphere is 400ppm, up by 40%. Between 1880 and 2012, the temperature has risen 0.85°C. The carbon dioxide emission due to global burning of fossil fuels in 2014 was 32 billion tons, increased by 54% than 1990. The amount was 57% of all greenhouse emissions caused by human activity. It's the main reason for global warming. If we don't do anything about it, the CO2 atmospheric level will soon register at the threshold volumn of 450ppm and the global temperature will rise over 4°C at the end of this century, which will result in melting glaciers, sea level rise, less food, and species extinction.
ENERGY DEMAND INCREASE
Assuming that the world population is 9.55 billion and the average annual growth of global economy is 3% by 2050, we will need 30 billion tons of standard coal then, with an accumulative growth of 60% between 2010 and 2050. The electricity demand will reach 7,300TWh, with an accumulative increase of 2.5 times from 2010 to 2050. By then, the world energy demand per capita is 3.1 tons of standard coal, only half of the current level in OECD countries, and the annual electricity consumption per capita is 7,654kWh, about the same as the current level in OECD countries.
Facing deteriorating challenges from energy, environment and climate change, we must start from the world energy endowment and speed up the energy revolution. The key is to change our concept, establish the Global Energy Outlook, march towards "Two Replacements", construct the global energy allocation platform and realize efficient development and utilization of clean energy. The core is to build global energy interconnection.