Energy for Sustainable Development
The concept of sustainable development refers to development that 'meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs' (WCED, 1987). This has social, economic and environmental dimensions. The way energy is produced and used plays an essential role in all the three dimensions. Current primary energy sources are shown in Figure 3.1. The energy system today is heavily dependent on the use of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas), which together account for 80%of global primary energy consumption (Johansson and Goldemerg, 2002). It is clear that countries differ significantly in the structure of their energy consumption (Figures 3.2-3.4). Fossil fuel consumption accounts for 83%of the energy consumed in industrialized countries and 93% in the transition-economy countries, but only 70%in developing countries. In contrast biomass represents only 3.4% of primary energy used in industrialized countries, is virtually non-existent in countries in transition, and accounts for 26% of energy used in developing countries. Nuclear energy is also significant in industrialized countries (where it is the source of 11% of primary energy) and countries in transition (5%), but makes only a minor contribution in developing countries (1%). The figures also highlight the extreme inequalities in per capita use among groups of countries. Industrialized countries use 4.7 tons of oil equivalent (toe) per capita, in contrast to developing countries, which use only 0.78% toe per capita; the world average is 1.6 toe per capita.