Supply, consumption, trade, changes
There is a marked energy gap between the rich and poor nations of the world.
• Nearly a third of the worlds people-those living in low-income countries-have no electricity or other modern energy supplies and depends almost entirely on wood or other biomass for their energy needs. The use of wood for fuel is usually damaging to the environment.
• In more developed countries oil provides the bedrock for modern life. 90% of transport relies on oil products and they are vital components in the pharmaceutical, chemical and food industries. The more developed countries consume around 75% of the total supply of the 3 major fossil fuels, although as China and India industrialize their consumption will continue to increase rapidly.
The International Energy Agency predicts that the world will need almost 60% more energy in 2030 than in 2002, and that fossil fuels will still meet most of these needs. Oil industry experts predict that current reserves will only last for another 40 years or so and although gas supplies will last longer they are finite. However, if governments deliver on promises to push cleaner and more efficient supplies, growth in demand could be restrained by about 10% according to the IEA.
A report commissioned by the agency considered two scenarios:
• Business as usual – If nothing changes, by 2030 the demand for fossil fuels, and their related carbon emissions will grow by around 83%
• alternative policies- If policies are taken up, by 2030, there will be a reduction in increased demand by 10% is the equivalent to China's total energy consumption and would result in a 16% cut in carbon emissions.
The supply of non-renewable sources of energy
Globally, energy supplies are distributed unevenly. This means that energy sources are often long distances from the point of consumption. Fuel often travels vast distances to reach its consumers. These distances create many problems linked with political instability in the Middle East.
Recoverable amounts of uranium, used in the production of nuclear energy, are also distributed unevenly.
• It has been estimated that the very poorest countries in the world contain 14% of the worlds coal reserves, 5% of the oil reserves and 8% of the natural gas reserves
• The middle-income countries, including many middle eastern states such as Iran and Iraq and other newly industrializing nations such as China, India and Brazil possess 45% of the world's coal reserves, 70% of oil reserves and 68% of natural gas reserves
• In total the developed world has fewer fossil fuels than the developing world (42% of the worlds coal, 25% of oil and 24% natural…