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Additional resources for Uranium and Nuclear Energy: 1981. Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium Held by the Uranium Institute, London, 2–4 September, 1981
Coal production has doubled over the past 30 years with the greatest growth in thermal coal, that is coal used for energy purposes including electricity generation. The past 30 years, however, have been years of even more rapid growth in energy demand, and coal's share of the total energy market has decreased from 57% to 32% (Figure 1). Today coal provides more than 34 M b o e / d a y of energy worldwide, more than the combined output of all O P E C members and more than any other source except oil.
World energy consumption by type The background against which the future of coal — and, indeed, nuclear energy — is to be viewed is of a world which requires an increasing energy supply to sustain economic growth. Oil supply has increased dramatically since the 1950s, in order to fuel industrial expansion, but increasing volumes will not necessarily be available, and most prudent assessments of the future energy picture assume nothing more than that oil supply will continue at present levels. In the recently published International Energy Agency review of the energy policies and programmes of its member countries it appears that national policies will demand a supply of oil (and of oil imports) at present levels throughout the 1980s.
This in turn resulted in the whole of the Arab world being left behind the front line of global nuclear power development for the space of two decades. T h e intensive study m a d e during the first A r a b Nuclear Power Conference led to the following conclusions: 43 Figure 3. Nuclear contribution to electricity production in developing countries (% of total electricity produced). (Source: World Bank, 1980) (a) there is a need to intensify co-operation among Arab countries in planning for nuclear energy and in securing the necessary reserves of nuclear fuel through the establishment of a Pan-Arab nuclear fuel cycle; (b) the establishment of interconnecting grid systems between the Eastern and Western parts of the A r a b world, leading to reliable and optimum exploitation of conventional power resources and facilitating early installation of large commercial nuclear power generation units, must be speeded up; (c) there is a need for the industrialized world to co-operate more fully with the Arab world in the transfer of nuclear technology: T h e concern of the North about the preservation of organic fuel for future generations and for its noble use could best be translated into reality by assisting the South in acquiring this [nuclear] source 6 of energy for peaceful uses' ; (it is worth adding that this also applies to other regions of the developing world which are hoping to acquire nuclear systems).