Introduction to Global Energy Issues  book cover
1st Edition

Introduction to Global Energy Issues

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ISBN 9781138000148
Published August 6, 2013 by CRC Press
252 Pages 150 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

From the discovery of fire to that of the atom, the development of human societies has largely been based on the conquest of energy. In all countries, energy has gradually become one of the key factors of social and economic development, as well as capital, labor and natural resources, and now no one can do without it. After decades of cheap energy flowing without any problem, over the last forty years crises have become the rule. This disruption of the energy landscape is of particular concern as the impact of energy crises on human societies became considerable. This book seeks to provide a basis for reflection on all global energy problems, offering an analysis of the main aspects to consider: energy supply, resource-dependent industries and technology available, macroeconomic implications of energy demand, geopolitical issues, and specifics of the situation in developing countries. It does not thoroughly address environmental issues, which would require further study beyond the limits we set. This book is the second edition of a book published in 1992, at a time when obtaining energy and economic data was much more difficult than today, when many databases are freely accessible on the Internet. In this new context, we hope it will assist the reader in finding his/her way in the considerable amount of information available. Energy is a vast field that can be approached from multiple angles. The approach proposed here is to start by providing the reader with technical bases on energy, and thus energy supply, before considering the demand, that is to say, the socio- and macro-economic dimensions, then addressing global issues relating to energy, and finally complete the study of the main issues that arise in this area today.

This book summarizes the main issues related to energy and requires no special knowledge beforehand, whether in economics, engineering or international relations. It consists of nine chapters, the first being the introduction. Chapter 2 introduces the main energy sectors (oil, natural gas, coal, synthetic hydrocarbons, nuclear power, renewable energy, thermal or pneumatic storage), i.e. how the main sources of energy can be exploited. Chapter 3 presents the main macroeconomic and energy indicators that are commonly used to assess the energy situation in a country. Concepts that are introduced being then used consistently in other chapters, it is essential to understand well their definitions and limitations. The fourth chapter analyzes the impacts of energy at the macro level, including the links between economic activity and energy consumption. The fifth chapter introduces the main principles generally accepted in the development of energy policy and planning, and then discusses the institutional aspects. The sixth chapter is devoted to geopolitics: current consumption of energy, energy reserves and resources worldwide, international energy trade, and specific problems faced by developing countries. The seventh chapter is devoted to the study of the energy situation in eleven different countries, showing the contrast between them, depending on their level of economic development, demography, natural resource endowments, etc. The list of countries includes high-income developed countries (France, United States, United Kingdom), the emerging group called the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), a North African oil exporting country (Algeria), a west African country (Côte d'Ivoire), and an Asian exporter of coal and natural gas (Indonesia). The eighth chapter discusses emerging issues related to energy, in particular its relationship to the environment and the success of policies aiming at controlling demand. The ninth and final chapter begins with a prospective study of various scenarios for the medium and long term. The analyses presented in the book are then summarized by outlining the main pending issues.

The book includes 22 tables, 150 figures and 3 mind maps, as well as links to databases available online (World Bank, United Nations, BP).

Also available: an online course covering the main topics dealt with in this book. Please visit:

Table of Contents

Preface (by Jean-Arnold Vinois, Honorary Director at the European Commission, Former Director of the internal energy market within the Directorate General for Energy)
About the authors

1 Introduction
1.1 Overall presentation
1.2 Structure of the book
1.3 Educational use of this book
1.3.1 Recommended pedagogy
1.3.2 Available Diapason sessions
1.4 Energy and economic statistics

2 Energy sectors
2.1 Presentation
2.2 Forms of energy
2.3 Conversion of energy
2.4 Main sources of energy
2.4.1 Oil
2.4.2 Natural gas
2.4.3 Coal
2.4.4 Non-conventional fuels
2.4.5 Nuclear energy
2.4.6 Renewable energies
2.5 Electricity production
2.5.1 Thermal power plants
2.5.2 Production management
2.5.3 Transport and distribution
2.5.4 Cost structure
2.5.5 Conclusion
2.6 Thermal or pneumatic energy storage
2.7 Common characteristics and comparisons
2.7.1 Implementation time
2.7.2 Diversity and rigidity
2.7.3 Social acceptance
2.7.4 Comparisons between sectors
2.8 Conclusion
Further reading

3 Macroeconomic indicators and accounting of energy
3.1 Presentation
3.2 Evolution of the world population
3.3 Basics
3.3.1 Gross Domestic Product
3.3.2 Gross National Product, Gross National Income
3.3.3 International comparisons
3.3.4 Economic growth and development
3.3.5 Human Development Index
3.4 Structure of GDP
3.5 Energy accounting, energy chain
3.5.1 Accounting problems
3.5.2 Flow graphs
3.6 Energy intensity
3.6.1 Definition of the energy intensity
3.6.2 World energy intensities
3.6.3 Income elasticity
3.6.4 Relationship between growth rates
3.6.5 GDP and energy in France
3.6.6 Energy intensity changes of OECD countries
3.6.7 Convergence of world energy intensity
3.6.8 Changes in the electricity content of GDP
3.7 Indicators for CO2 emissions
3.8 Energy markets
3.8.1 International trade
3.8.2 Oil market
3.8.3 Natural gas market
3.8.4 Coal market
3.8.5 Conclusion on the energy markets
Further reading

4 The impact of energy on economic development
4.1 Presentation
4.2 Energy consumption and income level
4.2.1 Factors of development
4.2.2 Evolution of energy consumption
4.3 Coal and industrial revolution
4.4 Work/energy substitution
4.5 Reduction of transportation cost
4.6 An anecdotal illustration
4.7 Energy uses
4.8 Mechanisms of formation of energy demand
4.8.1 Breaking down demand
4.8.2 Determinants of aggregate demand
4.9 Macro-economic impacts of energy
4.9.1 Energy sector
4.9.2 Non-energy productive sector
4.9.3 Impact on investment
4.9.4 Impact on the balance of payments
4.9.5 Impact on consumers
4.9.6 Impact on state revenue
Further reading

5 Energy policy
5.1 Presentation
5.2 Limitations of the energy policy
5.3 Main objectives of the energy policy
5.4 Energy policy
5.4.1 Planning process
5.4.2 Energy models
5.5 Pricing elements
5.5.1 Economist pricing approach
5.5.2 Political approach to pricing
5.5.3 Practical difficulties of pricing
5.6 Institutional aspects
5.6.1 Need for joint action levels on supply and demand
5.6.2 Organization of national energy systems
5.6.3 Relationship between the central administration and operators
5.7 Conclusion
Further reading

6 World energy situation
6.1 Presentation
6.2 Consumption and production
6.2.1 Primary energy consumption in the world
6.2.2 Historical trends
6.2.3 Distribution of per capita consumption
6.2.4 Regional distribution
6.2.5 Production and consumption by region
6.2.6 Production and consumption by country groups
6.3 Energy reserves and resources
6.3.1 Definitions
6.3.2 Reserves of oil and natural gas
6.3.3 McKelvey diagram
6.3.4 Proved reserves
6.3.5 Resources
6.4 Energy problems in developing countries
6.4.1 Definition
6.4.2 Dual societies
6.4.3 Oil importers DCs
6.4.4 Energy problems of the poorest
6.4.5 The firewood crisis
6.4.6 Commercial energy needs
6.4.7 Energy characteristics of developing countries
Further reading

7 Case studies: The energy situation in certain countries
7.1 Algeria
7.2 Brazil
7.3 China
7.4 Côte d’Ivoire
7.5 France
7.6 India
7.7 Indonesia
7.8 Russia
7.9 South Africa
7.10 United Kingdom
7.11 United States
7.12 Energy in Europe
7.12.1 Evolution through the years
7.12.2 Outline of the European energy policy
7.13 Conclusion

8 Recent developments: New dimensions of the energy problem
8.1 Presentation
8.2 Environmental issues
8.2.1 Impact of energy on the atmosphere
8.2.2 General remarks on additional environmental impacts of energy
8.2.3 Possible solutions
8.3 Changing technology
8.3.1 Introduction
8.3.2 Exploration and production in the oil sector
8.3.3 Improved combustion
8.3.4 Production of electricity from natural gas
8.3.5 Reduction of specific energy consumption
8.3.6 Carbon capture and storage
8.4 A chronically unstable oil market
8.4.1 Consequences on the demand to OPEC
8.4.2 The peak oil debate
8.4.3 Interaction between oil demand and price
Further reading

9 Outlook
9.1 Presentation
9.2 Energy scenarios
9.2.1 Long-term scenarios (2100)
9.2.2 Medium term scenarios (2030–2050)
9.3 Major trends
9.3.1 A sharp increase in energy consumption
9.3.2 A growing levy on world wealth
9.3.3 Adequate resources at the scale of the planet
9.3.4 Concern over the environmental impact
9.3.5 Reducing the energy content of GDP
9.3.6 A continued leading role for oil
9.3.7 Persistence of geopolitical constraints
9.3.8 Continuation of a sustained technological development effort
Further reading

Annex 1: Pedagogical remarks
A1.1 Innovative pedagogy
A1.2 Learning objectives
A1.2.1 Memory
A1.2.2 Understanding
A1.2.3 Know-how
A1.2.4 Capacity for analysis and synthesis

Annex 2: Energy units and conversion factors
A2.1 Basic units
A2.1.1 Joule
A2.1.2 Calorie
A2.1.3 British Thermal Unit
A2.1.4 kWh
A2.2 Derived units
A2.3 Conversion factors
A2.3.1 Oil
A2.3.2 Natural gas
A2.3.3 Coal
A2.3.4 Electricity

Subject index

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The main part of Renaud Gicquel’s curriculum has taken place at École des Mines de Paris (Mines ParisTech), at its Centre for Energy Studies which he headed from September 1987 to January 2003. Named full professor in July 1986, he teaches applied thermodynamics, an introduction to global energy issues and energy system modeling.
He was formerly Special Assistant to the Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy from April 1980 to October 1981 in New York and Chargé de mission for multilateral issues with the Service des Affaires Internationales of the Ministry for Research and Technology in Paris in 1982. From 1983 to 1985, he was Adviser for International Issues at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). In 1986, he was one of the two founders of the Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Énergie (OME). From May 1991 to May 1994, he was Deputy Director of the École des Mines de Nantes (EMN) in charge of Research, and head of its Energy Systems and Environment Department.
He has published about 80 papers in the field of energy and two books:
• in 1992 “Introduction aux Problèmes Énergétiques Globaux” (Editor: Economica, Paris);
• in 2001 “Systèmes Énergétiques, Tome 1 et Tome 2” (Editor: Presses des Mines, Paris).
A revised edition and a third volume were published in 2009. Revised versions of these books have been translated into English and published by CRC Press:
• “Energy Systems, a new approach to engineering thermodynamics” in 2012;
• “Introduction to Global Energy Issues” in 2013.
Renaud Gicquel created the Thermoptim-UNIT portal ( dedicated to a new paradigm for teaching applied thermodynamics, as well as various software packages, in particular Thermoptim, which is used by over one hundred and twenty higher education institutions worldwide.

May Gicquel graduated from École Polytechnique – ParisTech as an engineer in 2007 and subsequently joined the Corps des Ponts, des Eaux et des Forêts to become a highranking civil servant in France.
From 2008 to 2010, her work focused on emerging economies (mainly China and India). She first studied the impact of the arrival on the international scene of firms from these economies on the global automotive sector and on its industrial organization, in terms of innovation, partnerships, and business models. She also researched how these countries’ extractive industries (coal, iron ore, aluminum, etc.) were restructuring to enter the global competition. The following year, she was based in Beijing to survey the development of electric and hybrid vehicles in China, taking into account the public policies that were being implemented, the new technologies under R & D, the growing number of industrial players, and the definition of Chinese standards and security tests.
In 2010, she returned to Paris to work for the French Ministry of Finance’s Directorate-General of the Treasury (DG Trésor), where she was in charge of supervising the AFD group’s strategy and finances for three years. AFD (the French Agency for Development) is the agency responsible for implementing most of the French bilateral official development assistance (ODA).
In 2013, she joined the Treasury’s Eurozone Task Force, focusing on the European Stability Mechanism.


This authoritative and highly pedagogical book provides a very complete and thorough analysis of global energy issues. By combining technological, economic, environmental and policy aspects of energy, which are all intrinsically interlinked, the authors provide the tools which allow the reader to fully understand the complexities of global energy issues. A must for any energy course.

Manfred Hafner, Professor, Johns Hopkins University (Bologna Center) / PSAIS (Sciences Po Paris), Skolkovo Moscow School of Management, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei