For a couple of weeks I have been attending an online lecture about our energy future. During the introduction a diagram was presented, showing us that the more energy a nation consumes the richer it is. Or, the opposite, the less energy it consumes the poorer a nation is. Economic success is much related to energy consumption. Besides the 2,000 to 3,000 calories we consume a day with our food, we westerners consume 30,000 to 40,000 calories in form of fuel for maintaining our standard of living. No wonder that developing countries want to imitate the western countries.
However, half of the in-situ oil has already been consumed, half of the petrol era is over. It is quite clear-sighted not to base our future economics on petrol. For me these facts are a reason why it is so thrilling to be able to help North Korea in order to cover the rising energy needs by locally renewable energy sources. The biggest energy source worldwide is the sun. All the other sources such as wind energy or biomass also need sunshine.
Thermal insulation of the houses is an important step for using the local energy sources sustainably. Zurich wants to realise the 2,000-watt society, in North Korea people still have been consuming less than 2,000 watt. Who knows whether this advance will be an advantage or disadvantage in the near future?