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Sat Nov 16, 2019, 10:26 PM

World Energy Outlook, 2017, 2018, 2019. Data Tables of Primary Energy Sources.

On this website, quite justifiably since it is a political website where science is simply a backwater, great attention is being paid to the historic level of criminality in the present administration.

However, over the long run, even if this historic criminality has the potential destroying the United States, or at least destroying its prestige and standing in the world, there is a greater criminality before which US political criminality pales, and that is the destruction of the planetary.

In another context, Abraham Lincoln wrote:

We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it.


If we substitute, speaking of the members of our party and not all Americans, clearly, "environment" for "Union" the statement should hold, but frankly, while I am confident that the environment can be saved, I'm not sure that "we" really have the courage and openness to know how to save it.

The data isn't pretty, but there is no technical reason that it need be as ugly as it is, but it will be ugly as long as appeals to fear and ignorance both on the right and on the left, are allowed to prevail. Let's be clear, fear and ignorance are prevailing where environmental issues are concerned.

For the last three years, I have kept spreadsheets of the data contained the International Energy Agencies "World Energy Outlook" (WEO) reports reflecting all sources of energy. In my personal electronic library I have copies of every report issued every year since 2006, and also have in my library, for amusement (giggling at a tragedy), the 2000 and 1995 issues.

I will reproduce some of these tables, those I use personally for calculations, and original tables from the last three editions of the WEO. Necessarily, the WEO data is the data from the previous year of the edition, 2017 refers to 2016 data, 2018 refers to 2017 data...and so on. Several years ago this lag time was actually two years, but reporting mechanisms have improved apparently.

The unit utilized in the World Energy Outook is the unfortunate unit "MTOE" which stands for "Million Tons Oil Equivalent."

The SI unit for energy is the Joule. The IEA offers a table of conversion factors including the TJ, the TeraJoule, one trillion joules. It is found on page 772 of the 2019 World Energy Outlook. Here it is:



Use of the TeraJoule to represent world energy production gives unwieldy numbers. When thinking about world energy supplies and production I have preferred, for the last 20 years, to think in exajoules, which gives in general two digit or three digit numbers.

Here are the conversion factors I use regularly to think in terms of exajoules and in terms of energy resources.



KgPuEq is a unit that only I use, and as it seems it is "kilograms of plutonium equivalent." Ignoring neutrinos since they don't interact well with matter and thus their energy cannot be captured, a kilogram of plutonium fully fissioned, represents about 80.3 trillion joules, or 80.3 TJ. Thus a million tons of oil is the equivalent of a little over half a ton of plutonium.

It is interesting that people are quite willing to accept the death toll associated with the combustion of a million tons of oil - seven million deaths per year from air pollution - and yet will engage in paroxysms of agony over the discovery of an object coated with trace plutonium that might have been laying around for decades without harming a single sole. Such people are Trumpian in their ignorance; Trumpian in the stupidity of their assertions, Trumpian in the perniciousness of their effect on history.

Anyway, the tables, first my own calculation tables for the years, 2016, 2017 and 2018, covered by the WEO's of the subsequent years.

Here is what I compiled in MTOE for the three years:




Here is what I compiled in the SI unit ExaJoules, EJ:



Notes: In the 2019 edition of the World Energy Outlook, the EIA broke the category "bioenergy" into two separate groups. One is "traditional" bioenergy, which is generally the open combustion of biomaterials such as wood, sticks, and straw, the majority of which is utilized by the poorer 2/3 of humanity, although in some places, for example, Vermont, it is also used for home heating. The second category is "modern bioenergy" which may be taken for things like corn ethanol, which is responsible for the complete destruction of the Mississippi River delta ecosystem, and biodiesel, which is responsible for the destruction of vast swathes of the South East Asian rain forest to make palm oil plantations. "Modern bioenergy" is almost totally related to the use, by rich people, of cars and trucks. It is generally known that the combustion of biomass, traditional and modern, is responsible for a little less than half of the seven million air pollution deaths that occur each year.

In previous editions, both forms of bioenergy, traditional and "modern" were included in the same category. This accounts for the blank spaces in these tables. Bioenergy is by far, the world's largest, and by far its most dangerous and destructive, form of so called "renewable energy."

In these tables, the headings, "Current Policy Scenario," "Stated Policy Scenario" and "Sustainable Development Scenario" are the terms utilized in the 2019 WEO edition. They are similar, but not identical, to terms used in previous editions. Finally the projection figures assembled by the large international team are for 2030 and 2040 as in the 2019 WEO. The projections in the 2018 WEO were for 2040 and 2025. In the 2017 edition, several different tables were utilized for each scenario.

Predictions about energy are usually bull, by the way, whether it's intellectually and morally contemptible drivel "studies" from Greenpeace about 100% "renewable energy" by 2050, or 2075 of 2100 or whenever the predicting party will be dead, or whether it was drivel produced by the tiresome fool Amory Lovins in the 1970's, or for that matter the EIA.

There is always the hope we will wake up.


This table, also mine, shows the changes in primary energy use in this century:



This table uses the "percent talk" by which anti-nukes misrepresent the complete and total failure of so called "renewable energy" to save human lives and the ecosystem of the entire planet, which is being destroyed by dangerous fossil fuel waste. It also shows absolute numbers, again in ExaJoules.

In Trumpian scale lying represented by "percent talk," so called renewable energy is - one hears this Trumpian Scale Lie alot - has been the fastest growing source of energy on the planet in this century.

In absolute numbers, exajoules, the fastest growing source of energy on this planet in this century has been coal. Coal use grew in the world at large between 2017 and 2018, despite what one may have heard in the American provinces.

In absolute numbers, dangerous natural gas was the second fastest growing source of energy in this century.

In absolute numbers, dangerous petroleum was the third fastest growing source of energy on this planet.

In this century, world energy demand grew by 179.15 exajoules to 599.34 exajoules.

In this century, world gas demand grew by 50.33 exajoules to 137.03 exajoules.

In this century, the use of petroleum grew by 34.79 exajoules to 188.45 exajoules.

In this century, the use of coal grew by 63.22 exajoules to 159.98 exajoules.

In this century, the solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal energy on which people so cheerfully have bet the entire planetary atmosphere, stealing the future from all future generations, grew by 9.76 exajoules to 12.27 exajoules.

A note on the only sustainable form of energy there is, nuclear energy:

In the days where I used to write over in the E&E forum, which is less about science as it is about sarcasm in the face of what may yet prove to be the most destructive deliberate consequence of human action, outstripping even the spread of the bubonic plague, and even World War II, climate change, there was a certain set of people who appealed to the logical fallacy of Appeal to Popularity

These people were decidedly not intellectuals in any shape, manner, or form, and there were a number of them whose intellects were so weak that they generally expressed themselves with emojis, since they lacked the intelligence to use words. Their arguments to support the unsupportable proposition that so called "renewable energy" was a good and viable way to address climate change.

These were not people who actually gave a rat's ass about climate change, nor people who gave a rat's ass about the massive death toll from air pollution and, increasingly, extreme weather. Their target was, and is I suppose, were I still listening to their tortuous claptrap, nuclear energy, which I'm not doing.

Like those television ads that try to get you to buy a car or a soft drink or any other consumer junk by using the term "best selling," in the ad, these people loved to announce that so called "renewable energy" was good because someone was building a massive wind farm in previously pristine wilderness, or solar cells were selling like hot cakes in Southern California.

The inverse was of course, to gloat, because nuclear plants were being shut. The fallacy was that since the idea of shutting nuclear plants was popular, it was therefore a good idea.

This represents another popular idea that killed people, since nuclear plants save lives.

Now these are stupid people, these gloating antinukes, and their ignorance extends beyond their vast technical ignorance. Since they would rather engage in the circle jerk of equally stupid people quoting one another - it's sort of like the Republican party, isn't it - than actually find things out, if by nothing else, by reading and contemplating data, they would note that nuclear energy has consistently produced a constant amount of energy for almost two decades without many new nuclear plants being added to the fleet. This means that nuclear plants are reliable and long lasting. This consistent amount of energy was produced despite a constant stream of screaming marketing that is reminiscent of similar anti-science appeals, anti-vaxxing and anti-GMO.

It is a fact that almost all of the world's operating nuclear plants were built using technology developed in the mid 20th century. It is a fact that they have produced more than 3 times as much energy as the forms of so called "renewable energy" represented by solar and wind, even as trillions of dollars resulting from appeals to popularity were squandered on billions of tons of this future electronic landfill.

Since the people applauding this state of affairs are ignorant of just about everything they do not know a damned thing about industrial history. The country that built the most nuclear reactors is the United States. It built almost all of them in a 25 year period lasting from about 1960 to 1985, this while producing the lowest price electricity in the industrial world.

But appeals to ignorance are the key to marketing, as we can see as we have a criminal in the White House and there are still people who worship the criminal fool.

There are still people who accept seven million air pollution deaths per year by claiming that "nuclear power is dangerous!"
Their strategy was the "Gym Jordan" strategy of "look there goes a squirrel." If you try to discuss the seven million deaths a year with these moral idiots, they'll come up with some idiot statement asking how much "hot steel" there is in the world, even though "hot steel" has never killed as many as the 19,000 people who will die today from air pollution. They'll point to some mildly radioactive material at the Hanford nuclear weapons plant as if it was some kind of tragedy requiring international attention, while the aforementioned 7 million who will die this year from air pollution require no attention.

There is no technical reason that nuclear energy cannot be expanded at the same rate it expanded in the 20th century, at a rate of ten exajoules per decade. This has already been done, with primitive technology In fact there is no technical reason that it can't be expanded at four or five times that rate. Our used nuclear fuel contains enough plutonium, in a breed and burn scenario to produce all of the world's energy indefinitely, using uranium and thorium already mined.

The issue is not technical. The issue is the plausible lie, and the international embrace of the plausible lie. But a lie is a lie, plausible or not.

The data is here; the data is no lie. I will shortly paste some original tables from the WEO editions in my files.

Let me say this, though, since rightly, the issue of the appalling stupidity of my generation, the consumer generation, the distracted baby boomers is coming to world attention: We grew up in the shadow of nuclear war. We heard static from giant nuclear weapons tests. When I was a child I thought that the element that has so fascinated me as an adult, cesium, had no non-radioactive isotopes. We lived in fear of nuclear Armageddon.

None of this is an excuse for what we have done. We announced ourselves as young people as the generation of "peace and love" but later only included "love" in "sex, drugs, and rock and roll." We have partied ourselves to death, not just our own deaths, but the death of a planet.

OK Boomers. We're done. Let's move aside and let the real grown ups, the millennial, work to undo what we have done. If we can't think, and clearly we can't, let's get out the way.

Some tables from the original WEO reports:

Table 1.1 page 38 World Energy Outlook 2019:



Table 1.1 page 38 World Energy outlook 2018:



Table A.2 (partial) page 647 World Energy Outlook 2017:



Table 3.2 pg 79 World Energy Outlook 1995 (Predicting 2010):



Table 2.1 Page 51 World Energy Outlook 2012 (Data from 2010):



I trust you're having a nice weekend.



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Reply World Energy Outlook, 2017, 2018, 2019. Data Tables of Primary Energy Sources. (Original post)
NNadir Nov 2019 OP
NNadir Nov 2019 #1

Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Nov 17, 2019, 12:10 PM

1. An improved and less confusing data table combining the 2017, 2018, and 2019 WEO reports.

Looking at the table in this post, which I plan to use for reference, whether it is of much interest to others or not, I realized that the table was confusing, especially with respect to biomass, where the trends were not clear.

As noted in the post itself, in 2019, the IEA decided to break biomass into two sections, "solid biomass," the combustion of wind and straw, defined as "Solid biomass includes its traditional use in three-stone fires and in improved cookstoves" and "modern bioenergy" which is presumably mostly biologically derived ethanol and biodiesel from plant oils and fats.

In this updated table, I have summed "solid biomass" and "modern bioenergy" and deducted the total from the 2000 and 2017 figures to show the change in biomass use. Overall, the use of "renewable" biomass has declined slightly between 2017 and 2018, probably because of the improvement in meeting the UN's "human development goals," that is, in reducing poverty.

I have also combined changes and totals, all in units of exajoules or in "percent talk" in a single table. If it proves difficult to read, enlarge the view on the browser. Although it is a graphics object, it should be readable.

The new table is this one:



I apologize to any interested readers for any confusion.

Have a nice day.

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