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The Sustainability of World Energy - Sample Research Essay

The sustainability of world energy is a great concern to many policymakers who have to come up with ways of sustaining the world’s energy needs while taking into consideration the ever rising human population and increase in per capita energy consumption mainly due to a sharp rise in industrial and technological activities that require energy across the globe, against energy resources facing depletion. Since industry and technology are indices of human civilization, the global energy consumption deeply impacts the social-economic and political spheres of humanity. One of the main sources of fuel for the energy production throughout ages has been coal with the volumes mined and efficiency of utilization on a constant rise since its discovery in the 13th Century.

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The changes in per capita consumption of coal in the recent past are measurable. In the 19th and 20th Centuries, the changes are explicit.

In the year 1980, the energy produced from coal globally was 120 000 000 megawatts

In the same year, the global population was 900,000,000

Therefore, per capita consumption was

= 0.1333 megawatts per capita

In 1980, the energy from coal was 21 800 000 000

While global population was 4 500 000 000

Per capita income was =4.8444 megawatts per capita

The change in per capita consumption of coal therefore =

= 4.711 megawatts per capita

The percentage change between the two years was

= 3534.2086%

*Rise in global population from the year 1800 to 1980

*Rise in global coal consumption from the year 1800 to 1980

*The rise in per capita coal consumption from the year 1800 to 1980


The rise coal consumption was much bigger than the population rise. This in turn led a massive rise in per-capita coal consumption. The graphs make the assumption that the rises in both population and energy from coal consumption were constant between 1800 and 1980 which is not the case. However, the slope of the graph is indicative of the trends and magnitude of increase.
Words count: 320

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