The future global economy is likely to consume ever more energy, especially with the rising energy demand of developing countries such as China and India. At the same time, the tremendous risk of climate change associated with the use of fossil fuels makes supplying this energy increasingly difficult.
The term ‘energy crisis’ is used quite loosely so it pays to be clear about what’s under discussion. Broadly speaking the term poses three distinct questions:
Will we run out of energy?
We rely on coal, oil and gas (the fossil fuels) for over 80% of our current energy needs – a situation which shows little sign of changing over the medium-term without drastic policy changes. On top of this energy demand is expected to grow by almost half over the next two decades. Understandably this is causing some fear that our energy resources are starting to run out, with devastating consequences for the global economy and global quality of life.