Energy and sustainability - is there hope?

By Dieter Kruger, consultant


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Published in:

Energy Efficiency Made Simple Vol III: Energy and enviroFiciency November 2012 - Chapter 1: pages 6 - 9

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We, as inhabitants of this planet, are living beyond our means. According to UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), the world's population has reached a stage where the amount of resources needed to sustain it exceeds what is available.


The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Living Planet Report 2012 tells us that we are using 50% more resources than the earth can provide.


To assess whether or not there is hope when discussing the 'energy and sustainability' debate, the author poses the follows questions:

  • What is the current reality regarding energy and sustainability?
  • What needs to happen to secure a sustainable future?
  • What is the likelihood of this actually happening?
  • How does this affect me and the choices I make today?

Take note

  • The predictions for world energy consumption show a relentless increase despite conservation and fuel switch efforts.
  • In South Africa, the IRP (Integrated Resource Plan) of November 2011, envisages a total electricity supply in 2030 of 89,5 GW.
  • While the IRP shows a serious move to renewable energy, it forecasts that coal will still be 46% of that total.