4.2.1 Global development trends in the energy sector (production and consumption)
From 1900 to 2000, world primary energy increased more than ten-fold, while world population rose only four-fold from 1.6 billion to 6.1 billion. Most energy forecasts predict considerable growth in demand in the coming decades due to increasing economic growth rates throughout the world but especially in developing countries. Global primary-energy consumption rose from 238 EJ in 1972 to 464 EJ in 2004 (Chapter 1). During the period 1972 to 1990, the average annual growth was 2.4%/yr, dropping to 1.4%/yr from 1990 to 2004 due to the dramatic decrease in energy consumption in the former Soviet Union (FSU) (Figure 4.2) and to energy intensity improvements in OECD countries. The highest growth rate in the last 14 years was in Asia (3.2%/yr).
Low electrification rates correlate with slow socio-economic development. The average rates in the Middle East, North Africa, East Asia/China and Latin America have resulted in grid connection for over 85% of their populations, whereas sub-Saharan Africa is only 23% (but only 8% in rural regions) and South Asia is 41% (30% in rural regions) (IEA, 2005c).
There is a large discrepancy between primary energy consumption per capita of 336 GJ/yr for the average North American to around 26 GJ/yr for the average African (Enerdata, 2004). The region with the lowest per-capita consumption has changed from Asian developing countries in 1972 to African countries today.