The developing world continues to use up oil at a faster rate than the developed world can conserve. In the next few years, those developing economies will likely become more dependent on this finite resource as developed countries develop newer mechanisms of generating power. 

I wonder what would happen if a country like China or India were able to supplant this dependence by spurring on innovation in solar/wind or other renewables. Strategically, diplomatically and economically it would signify a tremendous change in the world order. But it’s hard to rationalize this change at this time, given that the fossil fuels demand is driven by construction in subsistence infrastructure for the vast majority of a population.

For the first time in several months, the International Energy Agency Thursday slightly raised its 2008 world oil-demand growth forecast but cautioned that global crude consumption will remain well-below trend into 2009 amid declining economic conditions.

Lower economic growth and high oil prices, which have traded over $100 a barrel for much of 2008, have steadily eroded crude consumption in developed markets like the U.S. and Europe, but healthy economic activity in emerging nations like Saudi Arabia and China has been making up the difference.