Thomas Fuller is the managing director for the Asia Pacific region at SIS International and the author of the new white paper put out by SIS, “Energy Consumption in the Developing World in 2030”. We asked him five questions about his work and how it led to the white paper—and what he thinks are the ramifications based on the data he presents.
Q. What are your credentials with regards to the subject matter of this white paper—energy use in the developing world?
A. I have written syndicated research reports on energy for BCC Research and served as Consumer Insights Manager at Sungevity, the California-based solar power company. I also have a long-running blog up called 3000 Quads (http://3000quads.com) that has focused on the issue of energy consumption for years.
Q. For those who don’t have time to read the white paper, what is the thumbnail description of what’s inside?
A. That the developing countries will consume more energy than most people have predicted and that this will have serious consequences—the worst being an increased use of coal because we didn’t anticipate energy demand rising so quickly.
Q. And how did you arrive at your conclusions?
A. By comparing energy, population and GDP statistics of large developing countries such as China and India with other countries that went through the same development cycle previously, such as Thailand. If China reaches the same level of GDP per person as Thailand has now in 2030, it’s logical to expect that the Chinese people will consume the same amount of energy per person at that time. But that is a lot more energy than people currently predict.
Q. Do you provide a prescription for avoiding massive increase in the use of coal by 2030?
A. Oh, yes. We should of course continue to help the technology curve bend prices down for solar and wind, but also uprate the turbines in hydroelectric facilities, make more use of combined heat and power plants, find safe sites and safe designs for nuclear power, and make judicious use of natural gas as a bridge between coal and nuclear in the medium term.
More information on Tom Fuller.
SIS International Research, founded in 1984, is a global market research and corporate intelligence firm with offices worldwide. The company specializes in fieldwork, data collection, consumer research, B2B, industrial, healthcare, automotive, and strategic intelligence.