If you’ve read much of this weblog, it should be clear that the traditional way of looking at energy consumption hasn’t been extremely useful.
It doesn’t break out simply, such as OECD vs. non-OECD nations. There are huge differences within those groupings that have led those who do meta-analysis into some strange territory.
So I’m going to offer something different. Let’s imagine a new way of looking at the world–hopefully a way that better corresponds to reality.
I intend to group nations into buckets based on estimated future growth of energy consumption. For the moment, I will label those buckets 5%, 3% and 1%, although I may refine them later.
The 1% bucket will consist of those European nations that are reclining, if not declining, in population and other criteria that drive consumption. They will be joined by some countries, mostly in Africa, that would otherwise be called Failure to Launch. This may be the African Century yet, but this subset of countries haven’t heard the news.
The second group is important, mostly because it includes the U.S., the largest economy and second-largest energy consumer in the world. It will be joined by a number of countries that might be called the Balanced Set–those that will grow, but moderately. They will be the 3% club.
And then there will be the 5% group of hard chargers–the Chinas, Indias and Indonesias of the world, in a hurry to develop and fight their way to the top.
I’m hoping that analyzing future energy consumption will be not only easier this way–I’m hoping that it will have a very natural flow to it, as if we’re swimming with the current when we look at the numbers, as opposed to fighting upstream to make sense of it all.
I hope you stick around for the ride.