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Greater energy use is required to extract, process, and transport energy products, leading to higher costs and lower net available quantities.
Somewhat offsetting these rising resource requirements is the inventiveness of humans and the resulting gradual improvements in technology over time. UN data summarized by Material shows that extraction of world material resources does indeed increase most years. World total extraction of physical materials used by the world economy, calculated using weight in metric tons. Amounts shown are based on the Global Material Flows Database of the UN International Resource Panel.
World per capita GDP amounts are from the World Bank, using GDP on a 2010 US$ basis.
Let’s take 1.0% per year as the minimum growth in energy consumption per capita required to keep the economy functioning normally.
Figure 7 shows the extent to which energy consumption growth has fallen behind a target growth rate of 2% since 2011. Indicated amounts to provide 2% annual growth in energy consumption, as well as actual increases in world energy consumption since 2011.
Deficit is calculated as Actual minus Required at 2%.
There are really two parts to projecting how much energy consumption is needed: Regarding the first item, if the population growth rate continues at a rate similar to the recent past (or slightly lower), about 1% growth in energy consumption is needed to match population growth.
To estimate how much growth in energy supply is needed to keep up with the other needs of a growing economy, we can look at per capita historical relationships: Figure 5.
Actual reported GDP growth would be expected to be higher than 2%. World energy consumption (Figure 4) follows a very similar pattern to world resource extraction (Figure 2). World Energy Consumption by fuel through 2018, based on 2019 BP Statistical Review of World Energy. “Other Renew” includes a number of kinds of renewables, including wind, solar, geothermal, and sawdust burned to provide electricity.