When people create more effective technology, the costs of operations typically go down and the demand and use go up. In economics, this sequence of events has a name – price elasticity. The cheaper a commodity, the more people consume it. For example, more fuel-efficient cars consume less gas but the consumption of gas is not going down because of it. What happens is the opposite: people can drive more using less gas so that they start to drive more and more.

It may be hard to imagine that just a little over a century ago, people didn’t even have access to motorised vehicles. Electrical power didn’t exist in the majority of western cities as little as 50-75 years ago.

Most of this expansion happened while using energy that came from fossil fuels. This created all kinds of issues from political dependency on unstable nations to uncertainty in the markets caused by wild fluctuations in energy prices.

To thrive, economies needed a certain degree of predictability, which is why there is no way of telling how much changes in fuel prices have cost the economies of developed countries over the years, and how significantly they have influenced the growth potential of the economies.

It is not the supply of energy that determines how much energy people have available to them. Energy availability is more about the ability of humans to extract it than it is about energy itself. Semiconductors and computer technologies have made oil-drilling equipment much more efficient and intelligent than before.

Technology is responsible for energy becoming so refined that humans can use it to perform eye laser surgery or create tiny microprocessors and equipment. In turn, this equipment allows people to extract even more energy and use it more efficiently. When countries focus on developing bioenergy technologies, the economies get a huge boost because bioenergy not only is good for the environment, but it also creates a lot of new jobs and stimulates growth and technological development.