Settlement by Energy – Can Renewable Energies Sustain Our Civilisation?

17 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2017

See all articles by Krzysztof Waśniewski

Krzysztof Waśniewski

Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University

Date Written: October 7, 2017


This article contributes to explaining the recently observable acceleration in the growth of output in renewable energies, through studying the fundamental role of renewable energies in sustaining human settlement. A model of general equilibrium is introduced, based on the logic of the original production function by Cobb and Douglas, where the size of the human population in a given place at a given time is in equilibrium with the available food and energy. Empirical check provided for the model strongly suggests that renewable energies can sustain the majority of local human populations on Earth, and most countries, with the intriguing exception of China and India, can sustain significantly bigger populations than their present ones, by reorienting their economies totally to renewable energies.

Keywords: renewable energies, production function, general equilibrium, sustainability, technological change

JEL Classification: C52, O3, Q01

Suggested Citation

Waśniewski, Krzysztof, Settlement by Energy – Can Renewable Energies Sustain Our Civilisation? (October 7, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Krzysztof Waśniewski (Contact Author)

Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University ( email )

ul. Herlinga Grudzińskiego 1

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