The “UN 2019 Revision of World Population Prospects” report says that by the end of this century the world’s population will be about 10.9 people. What does this mean with respect to the UN goals of having only renewable power—wind and solar –and the elimination of fossil fuels as an energy source?
The Pew Research Center analyzed the UN report and came up with some eye-opening observations. China will begin to lose population by the end of this century. India will have the world’s largest population, surpassing China. Africa will have 4.3 billion people at the turn of the century, substantially more that the 1.5 billion it has in 2020. And Africa’s average age will be 35. The World’s median age will be 42.
Look at this chart:
By 2100, Asia and Africa combined will be 9.0 billion of the forecast total world population of 10.9 billion. We can expect that the really undeveloped populations of the world will be demanding a standard of living approaching that of Europe and North America.
China and India have already launched programs to achieve a very much improved standard of living for their people. Africa will surely do the same and with a relatively young population they will be aggressive. That standard of living will only be realized through energy.
It will not come from renewables. It probably cannot be fully realized by fossil fuels. It will have to come from nuclear energy. Ultimately, nuclear will dominate the energy sector.
For the US, economics are causing some shutdowns of nuclear plants as natural gas generates energy at a lower cost. In the long run, nukes should be the lowest cost reliable energy.
However, there are several nukes that are being shutdown because a governing body does not like them. These are bad choices.
Germany seems to have an irrational fear of nukes that were prompted by the Japanese Fukushima nuke plants being flooded by a tsunami. When was the last time a tsunami hit Germany?
It is my opinion that the greens opposition to nukes is that the nukes have the potential to solve the energy problem. Many leaders of the green movement have publicly announced that their goal is a one-world socialist government based out of the UN. They would prefer an energy limited world where they would be in charge. Nukes could solve the energy problem, destroying their dream.
Ok, will these population estimates prove-out? Will Ebola wipe out millions of Africans? Will there be a war or wars that slash these estimates? Could the expectations for lower fertility be wrong and the world population grows even larger? Of course, I don’t know answers to any of those questions. But for the moment, I am assuming these estimates are going to be accurate.