Trend Opinion
Fossil fuels will last for hundreds of years and we don’t need to worry about it.

It is a fact that the use of fossil fuels has risen steeply in the last 150 years. If we look at the consumption on various timelines and time dimensions (see diagram) then it is clear that we are letting off an enormous global firework show in the equivalent of one second of the earth’s history. Regenerative energy is unavoidable sooner or later.

1. The global demand for energy is growing exponentially – fossil fuels form the basis for our global energy supply
In the last 150 years global energy consumption has risen drastically. At the end of the 19th Century coal was the main fuel. Since the Second World War global energy demands have followed a steep growth curve. Besides coal, oil and natural gas also gain in importance. Together over 85% of the world’s energy consumption is of fossil fuels. Renewable energy sources only have a share of just under 10 per cent and the use of nuclear energy accounts for approximately 5 per cent.

2. Humanity is using fossil resources in the equivalent of one second of the earth’s history

If we look at the fossil time slot against the background of the development of humanity not only from 1880 to today but rather from the year 1000 to the year 2500 then it is clear that the start of industrialisation brought with it a gigantic geophysical firework show. Even if we allow another 200 or 400 years for fossil resources this is still insignificant in relation to the history of the earth. If this trend continues then humanity would have used up the fossil resources that built up over millions of years in the duration of the blink of an eye. Just against the backdrop of increasing energy consumption and the recognisably finite nature of fossil resources the importance of regenerative energy sources will increase substantially in the future.


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