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Our Energy Use In Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

80.6% of the total energy consumption of the world still comes from fossil fuels. And this percentage hasn’t changed much in recent years. This might come as a surprise since climate change and sustainability seem to rank quite high on the international agenda.

Last year, the Doha conference assembled most of the world’s countries for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Kyoto Protocol was extended until 2020.

Also at the end of last year, the Climate Reality Project broadcasted a live 24-hour marathon on the impact of climate change. The marathon was seen by millions around the world.

In order to navigate these conversations about sustainable energy and climate change, it helps to have a look at our current consumption patterns. So how much do we consume? What countries are consuming more? And what do we use energy for?

The following infographic is the first of a 2-part series on these questions. This first part is about energy as a whole while part 2 will focus on renewables.

[EDIT: part 2 is now available]

 

Content Discussion

Nathan Wilson's picture
Nathan Wilson on May 26, 2013

Interesting article.  Great data.

Nathan Wilson's picture
Nathan Wilson on May 26, 2013

The important number is the total percentage of energy from non-fossil sources, and on this metric, Sweden also does very well.  But note it’s not the much touted sun and wind that they rely on for success, but traditional large-resevoir hydro and nuclear.

The large hydro deployment (45% of electricity) was basically lucky geography; it’s not something that works in most of the world.  The nuclear (also about 45% of electricity) was a good choice that can and should be eumulated world-wide.

Paul O's picture
Paul O on May 26, 2013

” ….Sweden also does very well.  But note it’s not the much touted sun and wind that they rely on for success, but traditional large-resevoir hydro and nuclear.

The large hydro deployment (45% of electricity) was basically lucky geography; it’s not something that works in most of the world.   “

 

 

An Inconvenient truth

Matthieu Tanguay-Carel's picture
Matthieu Tanguay-Carel on May 27, 2013

Yes, Sweden and Norway deployed lots of hydropower. Another example is Iceland, relying on geothermal power. As you say, these capabilities cannot be generalized to the rest of the world. Therefore, most people expect solar and wind to grow as a share of our energy supply, while the other renewables would remain relatively stable. Part 2 will touch on this.

 

Willem Post's picture
Willem Post on October 22, 2015

Paul O,

The large wind power in Denmark is due to good winds, PLUS low-cost balancing by nearby hydro plants.

It is not something that works in the rest of the world, and therefore should not be cited as an example for the rest of us to follow.

Denmark, despite all that good fortune, has the highest household electric rates in Europe, about 30 eurocent/kWh, of which about 55% are taxes, fees and surcharges.

That means Denmark’s wind system is subsidized by households, as industrial rates are untouched for “competitive reasons”; those wind turbines being sold abroad would become too expensive.

http://www.theenergycollective.com/willem-post/2264202/reducing-us-primary-energy-wind-and-solar-energy-and-energy-efficiency