The global energy consumption grows remarkably faster than the world population. Between 1870 and today, the number of people has almost quadrupled. An unspectacular figure compared to the rise in energy consumption, which saw a sixty-fold increase in the same period of time. So today, each person consumes an average of 15 times more energy than 130 years ago. A figure that is, of course, much higher for people of the Western industrial states.
The most remarkable increase of the worldwide energy consumption took place over the past 50 years. Between 1970 and 2000 alone, it more than doubled. Considering the population growth to be expected and the economic catching-up of threshold countries, which have only played a minor role regarding energy consumption so far, it becomes clear that this trend will continue. About 80% of the world energy supply is based on fossil energy sources; regarding commercially used energy, this figure even amounts to almost 90%.
The reserves of fossil energy sources still available equal approx. 75 times the amount of the current annual world energy consumption, but only 2.2 times the amount of the amount of fossil energy sources already consumed.
The first economic consequences resulting from this development can already be noticed today.
Lately, the energy costs have risen above-average. The so-called "mid-depletion-point", which is the point in time when half of the total global crude oil reserves will be used up and the production will no longer be able to cover the demand, should be reached within the next decade. Then, at the latest, the supply situation of all countries which depend on the import of fossil resources will come to an existential head.