coal

Energy consumption world map

I found this interesting interactive workbook that display energy consumption trends worldwide in 2010 and 2011.  It makes for a fascinating discovery.  All data is expressed in terms of equivalent oil consumption.  In other words, weather the energy source is Natural gas, nuclear, coal, oil, hydro electricity or renewable energy (solar and wind presumably), they are all expressed as oil quantities in equivalent energy unit.

Here are a couple of screen captures I have taken,

Coal : You will notice at the top 3 drop down menus that allow you to select the energy source.  Also note that these graphs are per capita consumption figures, ie the amount of that energy source consumed in the entire country divided by the population.  Of course no one burns coal nowadays or very few households, but a lot of coal is used to produce electricity, and this is then consumed by the industry, households, offices and that not.
The biggest consumers of coal energy are the US, Australia, Kazakhstan, China, South Korea, Czech Republic, South Africa and Poland.
 Note however, that the consumption ranking are relative to the overall consumption.  Australia, which tops the list consumed a little of 2 tonnes of oil equivalent of coal in 2011.
Oil : This the highest contribution of energy source in the world in 2011.  However, surprisingly Singapore tops the list of per capita consumer followed by Kuwait and, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.  In other words they burn a lot of oil for their energy use (may it electricity or transport needs).  The US which is often singled out as a oil guzzler only comes 9th in the list.

Actual oil consumed by Singapore in 2011 was a little over 11 tonnes per person.

Natural Gas : The natural gas is another product of the oil industry and shows again an unexpected statistic.  The two countries that peak the trend are Qatar and Trinidad & Tobago!!  Of all nations I was surprised… but then again we all need electricity to run our ACs in the summer! 

The energy consumed in 2011 by Trinidad was a little over 14 tonnes of oil energy equivalent.

Nuclear Energy : Here, no surprises, France is the biggest consumer of nuclear energy in the world followed closely by ….. Sweden, not a nation traditionally associated with nuclear energy, but nonetheless, because of its lower population, its energy consumption per person is high. The top 5 consumers are all in Europe.

The nuclear energy consumed in 2011 by France was a little over 1.5 tonnes of oil energy equivalent.

Hydro Electricity :  Norway is the staggering leader in this field, with a 30% of all worlwide hydro energy per person consumption.  Again, do note that this is not total energy, only per person.  For example the biggest producer of hydro energy is Russia, while the biggest consumer of such energy is China (presumably it imports its excess consumption from Russia).  Hoever, per capita consumption is very low due to its large population.

Norway consumed an equivalent of a  little over 5 tonnes of oil energy in 2011.

Renewable energies : Denmark is the leader in this field, they are very active with various schemes of wind and biomass production. Apart from second placed New Zealand, the biggest consumption of renewable energy from comes Europe, where countries like Germany, Sweden, Finland, and Spain have active wind and solar energy policies.

Denmark consumed an equivalent of 0.6 tonnes of oil energy from renewable sources.

To make the study a little more complete, I downloaded the data from which these plots where compiled and did a few more of my own…

Energy source distribution and total consumption per country
The plot show the total energy consumption by each country and the source of that energy.  Interestingly the most energy hungry people on earth are not the usual culprit…. (the units are in tonnes of equivalent oil energy)

Green credentials
In this plot I worked out and ranked the percentage contribution from each energy source for the country’s per capita consumption.  The rank is from highest green source of energy to the most polluting source.  So for example, Norway which is at the top of this list sources in excess of 60% of its per capita energy from green renewable and hydro power source. The 11 lowest countries of this list all depend on fossil fuel for their energy needs.

Sustainable credentials:
Of course, the picture is not quite complete without also looking at the total consumption of a country.  Poorer country may not be able to afford fancy sources of energy, but nonetheless leave a  smaller footprint on the planet as their energy consumption are more frugal.  Here is one last plot that has a double ranking.  Ranked for frugality as well as green energy consumption.  What I would classify as a sustainable energy consumption rank.  The lower the energy consumption the higher on the list, but if a country consumes a lot of energy  but obtains it from from green sources, then it too should be higher up on this list.  This is the case with Brazil in 10th place on this list, it has a higher energy consumption per capita than the next 3 countries below it but its ranking is due to the fact that it obtains large part of this energy need from green sources.

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