In current debates, question concerning energy is ongoing. With as objectives a decarbonation of energies and depletion of fossil resources, it is necessary to make a choice. To develop nuclear energy, to promote renewable sources, to begin hydrogen exploitation, to have a mix of all this solution… There are many solutions possible. All of them have their own pros and cons.
But if the question that we wonder is not the right one? If what really matter, is not to choose which source of energy used? Indeed, since the beginning, humans had never stopped to innovate in the field of energy production to make it more efficient. First, with renewable source as wind and water, then with coal, then oil and gas, and to end, nuclear. Each time, human does not replace existent technology with the new one, but he adds it. Observing the evolution of energy production from each source, we can see that each curve is rising inexorably. Development of new technology, more efficient, did not enable us to be more energy efficient. On the contrary, humans’ population never stop to consume more.
Evolution of global primary energy use by fuel type. Data from De Stercke (2014).
So, maybe, the main issue is not to know which type of energy use, but how do we reduce our energy consumption? It seems obvious that, with the increase of world population, we cannot sustain our current way of life. It is possible to live with less energy. Besides, electricity consumption per person can be very different from one country to another. For instance, in Luxembourg, people consume 10 300 kWh of electricity in 2020 while in Poland, they use only 3 900 kWh. In Kuwait: 19 300 kWh of electricity par person while in Syria 730 kWh per person.
So, the main issue is that nobody is ready to give up his personal comfort to reduce considerably his consumption. But degrowth is inevitable. So, we have a choice to make : endure degrowth later or start to anticipate it right now.