Energy01 Feb 2001
A couple of thoughts. Back when I worked for Inter-Research, the ecologist Paul Ehrlich gave a lecture for us. He's well-known for his pessimistic view of the population explosion, but I found it interesting that he uses units of energy to express the impact of population:
"The average rich-nation citizen used 7.4 kilowatts (kW) of energy in 1990-a continuous flow of energy equivalent to that powering 74 100-watt lightbulbs. The average citizen of a poor nation, by contrast, used only 1 kW.... Americans are superconsumers, and use inefficient technologies to feed their appetites. Each, on average, uses 11 kW of energy, twice as much as the average Japanese, more than three times as much as the average Spaniard, and over 100 times as much as an average Bangladeshi."
(Ehrlich said that Germany lies near Spain on this scale, but I'll have to find a source of current statistics.)
As for our own use of electricity, our last annual bill from EWE was for 5500 kWH. Our monthly bill is Euro 69, and we seem to be paying 12 Eurocents per kWH. If I recall correctly, California rates at their peak were about 10 US cents per kWH.