Energy transformations

We need to transform our energy system.

It is perhaps encouraging that transformations have happened before.

Between 1800 and 1914, global energy consumption per capita doubled and the share of coal went from 3% to 56%. Between 1914 and 2013 consumption per capita doubled again, the share of oil went from 3% to 50% (in 1973) and then fell back to 32%, and the share of gas went from 1% to 23%. (Jean-Pierre Favennec and Yves Mathieu, Atlas Mondial des Energies, 2014)

Since 2005, the EU’s energy consumption has been falling – even during the periods when the economy has grown.

Maybe energy system transformation is made easier by the fact that energy use is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

Published by

Paul Hodson

Head of Unit "EnergyEfficiency" at European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy

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