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An introduction to energy resources
An introduction to energy resources

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2.3 Global power demand

In Section 2.2 we calculated a value of 14.3 TW for the average global requirement for primary power in 2002.

Question 3

For a global population at this time of 6.2 billion, how much primary power was needed to support the activities of each person in the world, on average?

Answer

Dividing 14.3 TW (14.3 × 1012 W) by the world population of 6.2 × 109 gives an average primary power requirement of 2.3 kW per person.

The average global figure of 2.3 kW per person is about five times less than that needed to enable each North American citizen to sustain the lifestyle to which he or she has grown accustomed. If every individual in the world were to demand as much energy as the average person uses in North America, the global energy supply industries would require a fivefold increase in their use of primary energy sources. Even more daunting is the prospect of continued growth of both world population and per capita energy demand.