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How Many Lightbulbs Would It Take To Power Human Civilization?

Of course, not all countries consume energy equally; the U.S. accounts for about a quarter of global energy consumption. But places such as India and China are increasing their consumption by leaps and bounds, and scientists believe that the world will up its total consumption by 50% from 2005 to 2030. By the way, one terawatt is equal to one trillion watts.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Global energy consumption could grow to 30–50 terawatts in the future. 00:29

  2. About 90,000 terawatts of energy reach the Earth's surface from the sun. 01:21

  3. Building the technology required to harvest energy from the sun seems costly, but continuing to rely on fossil fuels could ultimately prove more expensive and dangerous. 01:55

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