The Physics
Factbook
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Energy Consumption of Asia

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Standardized
Result
Yager, Joseph A. The Energy Balance in Northeast Asia. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1984: 233. "The total energy consumption of N.E Asia is 669 ten trillion calories" 1.60 × 1018 J
"Energy Supply." World Book Encyclopedia. vol. 6: 277-282. "The energy consumption of Asia is about 2,987 millions of short ton coal equivalent" 7.72 × 1019 J
Data Table 12.1 Commercial Energy Production, 1973-93 [pdf]. World Resources 1996-97: A Guide To The Global Environment. World Resources Institute (WRI). "The total energy consumption of Asia was 113,332 petajoules in 1993" 1.12 × 1020 J
1983 Energy Statistics Yearbook. New York: United Nations, 1985: 184-5. "the total energy consumption of Asia in 1980 was 46,285 thousands of terajoules" 4.63 × 1016 J
1987 Energy Statistics Yearbook. New York: United Nations, 1988: 191-2. "the total energy consumption of Asia in 1987 was 49,205 thousands of metric tons" 1.92 × 1019 J

It can be said that civilization is impossible without a sufficient supply of energy. Whether it is the dependence on wood for fire by a small village or nuclear power required to power a large city, energy is required to survive. Fuel is a form of stored energy that we use for power. It is known that the supply of fuels on the Earth is limited and insufficient to sustain rapid rates of development. In this essay, I will describe my research on the consumption of such fuels by the continent of Asia to show the incredibly large amount of energy that we exhaust.

According to my research, I found the energy consumption of Asia during the early 1980s to be about 5 × 1016 joules. During the mid-1980s, it climbed to about 5 × 1018 joules. In the early 1990s the consumption climbed again to about 5 × 1020 joules. As you can see, the energy consumption of Asian countries is steadily increasing. This is most likely due to population increases and industrial/economic expansion.

I encountered a few problems in my research that could have altered my finding to a small degree. First off, a conversion to the appropriate unit of joules was necessary for all findings. This may have altered the results slightly, but not enough to be noticeable. The major problem was that some sources did not include certain parts of Asia. This must be accounted for in analyzing the results. (The World Book Encyclopedia excludes parts of Mid-East and Russian Asia.)

The outlook for the world's energy supply is quit grim unless, new, renewable energy sources are utilized. Such renewable sources include geothermal energy, hydroelectric power, peat, ocean thermal energy, solar and tidal energies, and fuel wood. Such sources can be reused, and will provide the energy for centuries to come.

James McMahon -- 1998