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9 Super-Important Facts You Probably Need To Learn About Energy

Put a wrinkle in your brain as you think about how we can #makethefuture.

1. One in six people live without access to electricity today.


That's nearly 17% of the world's population that does not have access to the basic necessities electricity affords the rest of us.

2. Because countries use energy so disproportionately, many are lobbying for something called government-led carbon pricing.


Carbon pricing is a system that charges those who emit CO2 for each metric ton of gas they produce. A lot of people believe this is a useful tool for reducing carbon emissions and managing climate change.

3. Africa has about the same power generation capacity as the states of New York and Pennsylvania combined.


The entire continent of Africa has a population of over 1 billion people, but it only has a power generation capacity of about 80,000 megawatts. This isn't just an inconvenience for homes but a serious issue for resources like hospitals.

4. On the other hand, China is the world’s biggest emitter of CO2.


Luckily, the Chinese government is reducing its coal consumption, which accounts for 2/3 of China's energy use, and is transitioning to natural gas, solar energy, and wind energy, as well as increasing the use of natural gas.

5. But wait! There's actually a way to store away CO2 so that it doesn't enter and harm the atmosphere.

Courtesy of Shell

Worried about greenhouse gasses? Well, they can be injected over a mile underground into porous rock formations and trapped there safely. This one, in Norway, is the largest one to test CO2 capture technologies.

6. When used for generating electricity, natural gas only creates around 50% as much carbon dioxide and 10% of the air pollutants as compared to coal.

Courtesy of Shell

This is an important point to move away from coal.

7. There's also a LOT of natural gas — enough to last approximately 230 years.


If consumption maintains its current levels, we'll have enough recoverable resources to last approximately 230 years, according to the International Energy Agency. That's quite a lot of energy we could be utilizing safely.

8. Natural gas cooled to -260ºF will transform into a liquid and shrink the volume of the gas 600 times, creating liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Courtesy of Shell

LNG is clear, colorless, nontoxic, nonignitable, and safely shipped without using a pipeline.

9. Actually, liquefied natural gas is already being used for heavy-duty trucks, ferries, and other marine vessels.

Courtesy of Shell

It has the potential to be used by tugboats, barges, cruisers, and other kinds of vessels. Already, it's been used for ferries in Norway, supply vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, and heavy-duty trucks in the U.S. and the Netherlands.

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