GE’s Industrial Internet World Industrial Survey Statistics – A Baseline for Future Kardashev Level 1 World Projections
A guest post by Joseph Friedlander
The GE report has a wonderful breakdown of global industry.
Building on the statistics summarized below, we can project how much the mass loadings of global industry are currently and estimate how many times larger future industry (on Earth or in space) will be.
Now—about 10,000 large ships massing say 200,000 tons each (2 billion tons of steel)
Now—about 12 million tons of locomotives (with probably another billion tons of rolling stock and track mass)
Now—about a million tons of major aircraft.
Now—about 11,000 major industrial primary plants with say 200,000 tons of plant mass each (3.3 billion tons of industrial plant) (This is probably about half the true level of global industry infrastructure—another third would be many more smaller plants, another third widely distributed smaller infrastructure.) Note that these present industrial levels were unimaginable even a century ago— in 1920 US steel output was about 60 million tons. Now China produces 20 times that in a year.
It is theoretically possible in a century or two timescale, with Kardashev Level Two being about as much more time. It depends on your growth rates—see the link above.
Such an economy might have the following infrastructure levels–
Kardashev Level One—over ten million ships as large as the current marine fleet—possibly clustered into superships. Most people might then live on the sea in floating seasteads. Trillions of tons of ship displacement
Kardashev Level One—if rail based systems are still in fashion, billions of tons, possibly huge in mass, like ships today, with specially leveled or raised rights of way.
Kardashev Level One—a billion tons of major aircraft, possibly much larger then today (kilometer scale) We can imagine lighter than aircraft bigger than clouds (kilometer scale)
Kardashev Level One—an industrial plant with at least the mass of the moon Phobos (10 trillion tons), with corresponding outputs. The path to a Kardashev Level Two (Solar Empire with a billion times greater still output) would be long but open at that point.
Below the line is the current GE industrial survey given in the “Industrial Internet” report
This is a great chart of the various branches of world production
Another interesting chart there is of energy sources by sector.
in terms of Billion Tons of Oil Equivalent
13 BTOE Billion Tons of Oil Equivalent
(After conversion losses) Energy
9.5 BTOE Billion Tons of Oil Equivalent
Going to the source paper on which that article was based,
We find a third great chart there and plenty of statistics on world industry survey of the present day:
Here is the key chart, and a text conversion below.
# of Global ‘Big’ Assets Plants & things that spin (major bearing equipped assemblies)
120.000 Rail: Diesel Electric Engines 2,160,000 things that spin Wheel Motors, Engine, Drives, Alternators
43,000 Aircraft: Commercial Engines 29.000 things that spin Compressors, Turbines, Turbofans
9,400 Marine Carriers 84.600 things that spin Steam Turbines. Reciprocating Engines, Pumps, Generators
990 Big Energy Processing Plants 36.900 things that spin Compressors, Turbines, Pumps, Generators, Eons, Blowers, Motors
16,300 Midstream Systems includes Compressor pumping
stations. LNG gasification terminals, Large Crude carriers, gas processing plants 63,000 things that spin Engines, Turbines, Compressors, Turbo Expanders, Pumps, Blowers
4,100 Drilling Equipment Drillships, Land Rigs etc 29.200 things that spin Engines. Generators, Electric Motors, Drilling Works, Propulsion Drives
17,500 Thermal Turbines: Steam, CCGT, etc. 74,000 things that spin Turbines, Generators
45,000 Other Plants: Hydro, Wind, and Engines. Etc. 190.000 things that spin Turbines, Generators, and Reciprocating Engines
1,600 Steel Mills 47,000 things that spin Blast and Basic Oxygen Furnace Systems, Steam Turbines, Handling Systems
3,900 Pulp and Paper Mills 176,000 things that spin Debarkers, Radial Chippers, Steam Turbines, Fourdrinier Machines, Rollers
2,000 Cement Plants 30.000 things that spin Rotary Kilns, Conveyors, Drive Motors, Boll Mills
650 Sugar Plants 23.000 things that spin Cane Handling Systems, Rotary Vacuums, Centrifuges, Cystalizers, Evaporators
450 Ethanol Plants 16.000 things that spin Grain Handling Systems, Conveyors. Evaporators, Reboilers, Dryer Fans, Motors
1.300 Ammonia and Methanol Plants 45,000 things that spin Steam Turbines, Reformer and Distillation Systems, Compressors. Blowers
52.000 Medical Machines 104,000 things that spin Rotating Machinery
CT Scanners Spinning X-Ray Tube Rotors, Spinning Gantries
Sources: Multiple aggregated sources including Platts UGH, IHS-CERA, Oil and Gas Journal. Clarkson Research. GE Aviation & Transportation. Inmedica, industrial info. RISI, US Dept. of Energy, GE Strategy and Analytics estimates of large rotating systems
This chart is available at
More industrial statistic Highlights: (For industry geeks only from this point down:)
655 oil refineries in the world, representing 88 million barrels per day of crude input capacity—approximately equal to daily world oil consumption.
Each modern refinery has approximately 45 large rotating systems within the various critical refinery processes including crude and vacuum distillation, coking, hydrocracking, hydrotreating, and isomerization….. If just the major systems are considered, there are approximately 30,000 big things that spin in a refinery.
Globally, average recovery rates are only 35 percent or 35 out of 100 barrels in the ground are brought to the surface using current technology.
Today, global oil production is about 84 million barrels per day or 31 billion barrels per year (4.0 Btoe).
Current proved oil reserves are estimated at about 1,600 billion barrels.
13 BTOE (billion tons of oil equivalent)
Globally there are approximately 52,000 computer tomography (CT) scanners. These machines are used to visualize internal structures of the body. CT scanners employ a rotating x-ray device to create a 3-D cross-sectional image of the body.
The global power system encompasses about 5,200 GW of generation capacity. For reference, 1 GW of capacity can power about 750,000 US homes. In addition, there are millions of miles of high
voltage transmission lines, sub-stations, transformers, and even more distribution lines.
1,768 combined cycle power plants in operation globally
Globally, transportation logistics costs are estimated to be $4.9 trillion dollars per year, or approximately 7 percent of global GDP and maintenance costs account for 5 percent of this total, or $245 billion per year. Rail operations costs represent 75 percent of total trail transport costs, or $184 billion per year.
In 2011, 9.6 trillion tonne-kilometers of freight transported via the world’s 1.1 million kilometer rail system.
~ 120,000 diesel-electric powered rail engines worldwide. …Expect about 33,000
new diesel-electric locomotives to be delivered in the next 15 years—
There are about 18 major rotating components within a diesel-electric locomotive that can be grouped into six major systems: traction motor, radiator fan, compressor, alternator, engine, and turbo. If instrumentation was applied to every component of the rail fleet, this would represent more than 2.2 million rotating parts available for instrumentation.
Average cost of maintenance per flight hour for a two engine wide-body commercial jet is approximately $1,200.
In 2011, Commercial jet airplanes were in the air for 50 million hours. This translates into a $60 billion annual maintenance bill
43,000 commercial jet engines
Read the whole report here–
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