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World energy supply and consumption

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

World energy supply and consumption is global production and preparation of fuel, generation of electricity, energy transport and energy consumption. It is a basic part of economic activity. It does not include energy from food.

Coal, oil, and natural gas remain the primary global energy sources even as renewables have begun rapidly increasing.[1]
Coal, oil, and natural gas remain the primary global energy sources even as renewables have begun rapidly increasing.[1]

Many countries publish statistics on the energy supply and consumption of their own country or of other countries or the world. One of the largest organizations in this field, the International Energy Agency (IEA), publishes yearly comprehensive energy data.[2] This collection of energy balances is very large. This article provides a brief description of energy supply and consumption, using statistics summarized in tables, of the countries and regions that produce and consume most.

Energy production is 80% fossil.[3] Half of that is produced by China, the United States and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. The Gulf States and Russia export most of their production, largely to the European Union and China where not enough energy is produced to satisfy demand. Energy production increases slowly, except for solar and wind energy which grows more than 20% per year.

Primary energy sources are transformed by the energy sector to generate energy carriers.
Primary energy sources are transformed by the energy sector to generate energy carriers.

Produced energy, for instance crude oil, is processed to make it suitable for consumption by end users. The supply chain between production and final consumption involves many conversion activities and much trade and transport among countries, causing a loss of one quarter of energy before it is consumed.

Energy consumption per person in North America is very high while in developing countries it is low and more renewable.[2]

Worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels was 38 gigatons in 2019.[4] In view of contemporary energy policy of countries the IEA expects that worldwide energy consumption in 2040 will have increased more than a quarter and that the goal, set in the Paris Agreement to limit climate change, will not nearly be reached. Several scenarios to achieve the goal are developed.

Primary energy production

World total primary energy consumption by fuel in 2019[5]

  Coal (27%)
  Natural Gas (24.2%)
  Hydro (renewables) (6.4%)
  Nuclear (4.3%)
  Oil (33.1%)
  Others (renewables) (5%)

This is the worldwide production of energy, extracted or captured directly from natural sources. In energy statistics primary energy (PE) refers to the first stage where energy enters the supply chain before any further conversion or transformation process.

Energy production is usually classified as

Primary energy assessment follows certain rules[note 1] to ease measurement and comparison of different kinds of energy. Due to these rules uranium is not counted as PE but as the natural source of nuclear PE. Similarly water and air flow energy that drives hydro and wind turbines, and sunlight that powers solar panels, are not taken as PE but as PE sources.

The table lists the worldwide PE and the countries/regions producing most (90%) of that. The amounts are rounded and given in million tonnes of oil equivalent per year (1 Mtoe = 11.63 TWh, 1 TWh = 109 kWh). The data[2] are of 2018.

Largest PE producers (90%) (Russia excluded in Europe)
Total Coal Oil & Gas Nuclear Renewable
China 2560 1860 325 77 300
USA 2170 369 1400 219 180
Mid-East 2040 1 2030 2 4
Russia 1484 240 1165 54 25
Africa 1169 157 611 3 397
Europe 1111 171 398 244 296
India 574 289 67 10 208
Canada 529 31 422 26 50
Indonesia 451 288 102 0 61
Australia 412 287 115 0 9
Brazil 296 2 160 4 129
Kazakhstan 178 49 128 0 1
Mexico 159 7 132 4 16
World 14420 3890 7850 707 1972

In the Mid-East the Persian Gulf states Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the Arab Emirates produce most. A small part comes from Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.

The top producers in Africa are Nigeria (256), S-Africa (158), Algeria (156) and Angola (85).

In Europe Norway (207, oil and gas), France (135, mainly nuclear), Germany (112), UK (123), Poland (62, mainly coal) and Netherlands (36, mainly natural gas) produce most.

Of the world renewable supply 68% is biofuel and waste, mostly in developing countries, 18% is generated with hydro power and 14% with other renewables.[6]

For more detailed energy production see

Energy conversion and trade

Export minus Import[2]
Mid-East 1245
Russia 701
Africa 319
Australia 280
Canada 228
Indonesia 220
Norway 177
United States -80
Korea -252
India -347
Japan -387
China -733
Europe -985

Primary energy is converted in many ways to energy carriers, also known as secondary energy.[7]

  • Coal mainly goes to thermal power stations. Coke is derived by destructive distillation of bituminous coal.
  • Crude oil goes mainly to oil refineries
  • Natural-gas goes to natural-gas processing plants to remove contaminants such as water, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, and to adjust the heating value. It is used as fuel gas, also in thermal power stations.
  • Nuclear reaction heat is used in thermal power stations.
  • Biomass is used directly or converted to biofuel.

2018 World electricity generation (26,700 TWh) by source (IEA, 2019)[8]

  Coal (38%)
  Gas (23%)
  Hydro and other (19%)
  Nuclear (10%)
  Solar PV and wind (7%)
  Oil (3%)

Electricity generators are driven by

The invention of the solar cell in 1954 started electricity generation by solar panels, connected to a power inverter. Around 2000 mass production of panels made this economic.

Much primary and converted energy is traded among countries, about 5800 Mtoe worldwide, mostly oil and gas. The table lists countries/regions with large difference of export and import. A negative value indicates that much energy import is needed for the economy. The quantities are expressed in Mtoe/a and the data are of 2018.[2] Big transport goes by tanker ship, tank truck, LNG carrier, rail freight transport, pipeline and by electric power transmission.

Total Energy Supply

Total Energy Supply and Primary Energy[2]
Location TES PE
China 3210 2560
Europe 1984 1111
India 919 574
Mid-East 760 2040
Russia 760 1484
Japan 426 50
S-Korea 282 45
Canada 298 529
World 14280 14420

Total Energy Supply (TES) indicates the sum of production and imports subtracting exports and storage changes.[9] For the whole world TES nearly equals primary energy PE because im- and exports cancel out, but for countries/regions TES and PE differ in quantity, and also in quality as secondary energy is involved, e.g., import of an oil refinery product. TES is all energy required to supply energy for end users. The table lists TES and PE for some countries/regions where these differ much, and worldwide. The amounts are rounded and given in Mtoe. The data are of 2018.

History (TWh)
Year Total energy
supply (TES)1
Final energy
(Mtoe 6,106)
(Mtoe 4,672)
6,129 [10]
1990 102,569 11,821
2000 117,687 15,395
(Mtoe 12,717)
(Mtoe 8,677)
21,431 [11]
(Mtoe 13,113)
(Mtoe 8,918)
22,126 [12]
(Mtoe 13,371)
(Mtoe 8,979)
22,668 [13]
(Mtoe 13,541)
(Mtoe 9,301)
23,322 [14]
(Mtoe 13,369)
(Mtoe 9,425)
23,816 [15]
(Mtoe 13,647)
(Mtoe 9,384)
(Mtoe 13,972)
(Mtoe 9,717)
25,606 [18]
1 converted from Mtoe into TWh (1 Mtoe = 11.63 TWh)
and from Quad BTU into TWh (1 Quad BTU = 293.07 TWh)

25% of worldwide primary production is used for conversion and transport, and 6% for non-energy products like lubricants, asphalt and petrochemicals. 69% remains for end-users. Most of the energy lost by conversion occurs in thermal electricity plants and the energy industry own use.

One needs to bear in mind that there are different qualities of energy. Heat, especially at a relatively low temperature, is low-quality energy, whereas electricity is high-quality energy. It takes around 3 kWh of heat to produce 1 kWh of electricity. But by the same token, a kilowatt-hour of this high-quality electricity can be used to pump several kilowatt-hours of heat into a building using a heat pump. And electricity can be used in many ways in which heat cannot. So the "loss" of energy incurred when generating electricity is not the same as a loss due to, say, resistance in power lines.

Final consumption

World total final consumption of 9,717 Mtoe by region in 2017 (IEA, 2019)[18]

  OECD (38.2%)
  Middle East (5.1%)
  Non-OECD Eurasia (7.5%)
  China (20.6%)
  Rest of Asia (13.5%)
  Non-OECD Americas (4.8%)
  Africa (6.1%)
  International aviation and marine bunkers (4.2%)

Total final consumption (TFC) is the worldwide consumption of energy by end-users (whereas primary energy consumption (Eurostat)[19] or total energy supply (IEA) is total energy demand and thus also includes what the energy sector uses itself and transformation and distribution losses). This energy consists of fuel (78%) and electricity (22%). The tables list amounts, expressed in million tonnes of oil equivalent per year (1 Mtoe = 11.63 TWh) and how much of these is renewable energy. Non-energy products are not considered here. The data are of 2018.[2][20]


  • fossil: natural gas, fuel derived from petroleum (LPG, gasoline, kerosene, gas/diesel, fuel oil), from coal (anthracite, bituminous coal, coke, blast furnace gas).
  • renewable: biofuel and fuel derived from waste.
  • for District heating.

The amounts are based on lower heating value.

The first table lists worldwide final consumption and the countries/regions which use most (85%). In developing countries fuel consumption per person is low and more renewable. Canada, Venezuela and Brazil generate most electricity with hydropower.

Final consumption for largest users (85%)[2][21]
of which
of which
China 1436 6% 555 30%
United States 1106 8% 339 19%
Europe 982 11% 309 39%
Africa 531 58% 57 23%
India 487 32% 104 25%
Russia 369 1% 65 26%
Japan 201 3% 81 19%
Brazil 166 38% 45 78%
Indonesia 126 21% 22 14%
Canada 139 8% 45 83%
Iran 147 0% 22 6%
Mexico 95 7% 25 18%
S-Korea 85 5% 46 5%
Australia 60 7% 18 21%
Argentina 42 7% 11 27%
Venezuela 20 3% 6 88%
World 7050 14% 1970 30%

In Africa 32 of the 48 nations are declared to be in an energy crisis by the World Bank. See Energy in Africa.

The next table shows countries consuming most (85%) in Europe.

Countries consuming most (85%) in Europe.
Country Fuel
of which
of which
Germany 156 10% 45 46%
France 100 12% 38 21%
United Kingdom 95 5% 26 40%
Italy 87 9% 25 39%
Spain 60 10% 21 43%
Poland 58 12% 12 16%
Ukraine 38 5% 10 12%
Netherlands 36 4% 9 16%
Belgium 26 8% 7 23%
Sweden 20 35% 11 72%
Austria 20 19% 5 86%
Romania 19 20% 4 57%
Finland 18 34% 7 39%
Portugal 11 20% 4 67%
Denmark 11 15% 3 71%
Norway 8 16% 10 100%


In the period 2005–2017 worldwide final consumption[2] of

  • coal increased 23%,
  • oil and gas increased 18%,
  • electricity increased 41%.

Energy for energy

Some fuel and electricity is used to construct, maintain and demolish/recycle installations that produce fuel and electricity, such as oil platforms, uranium isotope separators and wind turbines. For these producers to be economic the ratio of energy returned on energy invested (EROEI) or energy return on investment (EROI) should be large enough.

If the final energy delivered for consumption is E and the EROI equals R, then the net energy available is E-E/R. The percentage available energy is 100-100/R. For R>10 more than 90% is available but for R=2 only 50% and for R=1 none. This steep decline is known as the net energy cliff.[22]


Demand fell in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the IEA is uncertain what will happen during the rest of the 2020s but has 4 scenarios.[23]

IEA scenarios

In its 2021 report "Net Zero Emissions by 2050" the IEA presents two scenarios.[24]

In Stated Policies Scenario (STEPS) IEA assesses the likely effects of 2021 policy settings. This would lead to a temperature rise of around 2.7 °C by 2100. Net zero pledges, even if delivered in full, fall well short of what is necessary to reach global net‐zero emissions by 2050.[24]:29

The NZE2050 Scenario shows what is needed to achieve what is necessary, consistent with limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 °C. In 2050 half of energy consumption will be electricity, generated for nearly 70% by wind and solar PV, about 20% with other renewable sources and most of the remainder from nuclear power. The other half is biomass, gas and oil with CCS (carbon capture and storage) or non-energetic (asphalt, petrochemics).[24]:18, 19,Fig. 2.9 Use of coal falls 90%, oil 75% and gas 55% [24]:Fig. 3.2. Emission by the transport sector drops 90%, the remainder mainly caused by heavy trucks, shipping and aviation.[24]:131,132

Investing in new fossil fuels is no longer necessary now (2021).[24]:21 Annual energy investment is expected to increase from just over $ 2 trillion worldwide on average over the past five years to nearly $ 5 trillion by 2030 and to $ 4.5 trillion by 2050. The bulk will be spent on generating, storing, and distributing electricity, and electrical end-user equipment (heat pumps, vehicles).[24]:81

Alternative scenarios

Alternative Achieving the Paris Climate Agreement Goals scenarios are developed by a team of 20 scientists at the University of Technology of Sydney, the German Aerospace Center, and the University of Melbourne, using IEA data but proposing transition to nearly 100% renewables by mid-century, along with steps such as reforestation. Nuclear power and carbon capture are excluded in these scenarios.[25] The researchers say the costs will be far less than the $5 trillion per year governments currently spend subsidizing the fossil fuel industries responsible for climate change (page ix).

In the +2.0 C (global warming) Scenario total primary energy demand in 2040 can be 450 EJ = 10755 Mtoe, or 400 EJ = 9560 Mtoe in the +1.5 Scenario, well below the current production. Renewable sources can increase their share to 300 EJ in the +2.0 C Scenario or 330 PJ in the +1.5 Scenario in 2040. In 2050 renewables can cover nearly all energy demand. Non-energy consumption will still include fossil fuels. See Fig.5 on p.xxvii.

Global electricity generation from renewable energy sources will reach 88% by 2040 and 100% by 2050 in the alternative scenarios. "New" renewables — mainly wind, solar and geothermal energy — will contribute 83% of the total electricity generated (p.xxiv). The average annual investment required between 2015 and 2050, including costs for additional power plants to produce hydrogen and synthetic fuels and for plant replacement, will be around $1.4 trillion (p.182).

Shifts from domestic aviation to rail and from road to rail are needed. Passenger car use must decrease in the OECD countries (but increase in developing world regions) after 2020. The passenger car use decline will be partly compensated by strong increase in public transport rail and bus systems. See Fig.4 on p.xxii.

CO2 emission can reduce from 32 Gt in 2015 to 7 Gt (+2.0 Scenario) or 2.7 Gt (+1.5 Scenario) in 2040, and to zero in 2050 (p.xxviii).

See also


  1. ^ Primary energy assessment: See [1], chapter 7


  1. ^ Jackson et al.: Persistent fossil fuel growth threatens the Paris Agreement and planetary health. Environmental Research Letters (14), 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Select country/region
  3. ^ "World Energy Balances – Analysis". IEA. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  4. ^ "EDGAR - The Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research". Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  5. ^ "Statistical Review of World Energy (2020)" (PDF). Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Renewables Information 2019: Overview".
  7. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol.18, Energy Conversion, 15th ed., 1992
  8. ^ IEA Website
  9. ^ p.105
  10. ^ "Key world energy statistics" (PDF). IEA. 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  11. ^ "2012 Key World Energy Statistics" (PDF). IEA. 2012. pp. 6, 24, 28. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 July 2015.
  12. ^ "2013 Key World Energy Statistics" (PDF). IEA. 2013. pp. 6, 24, 26, 28. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 July 2019. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  13. ^ "2014 Key World Energy Statistics" (PDF). IEA. 2014. pp. 6, 38. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 April 2015.
  14. ^ "Key World Energy Statistics" (PDF). 28 May 2017. pp. 27, 37.
  15. ^ "Key World Energy Statistics" (PDF). IEA. 28 May 2017. p. 38.
  16. ^ "Key World Energy Statistics" (PDF). IEA. September 2017. p. 7 (TPES), 36 (TFC, total final consumption). Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  17. ^ "International Energy Outlook 2017" (PDF). EIA. 14 September 2017. p. 10.
  18. ^ a b "Key World Energy Statistics 2019". International Energy Agency. 26 September 2019. pp. 6, 36. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Energy consumption in 2018" (PDF). Eurostat.
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "World Energy Outlook 2020 – Analysis". IEA. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g Net Zero by 2050 (PDF) (Report). International Energy Agency. May 2021.
  25. ^ Teske, Sven, ed. (2019). Achieving the Paris Climate Agreement Goals: Global and Regional 100% Renewable Energy Scenarios with Non-energy GHG Pathways for +1.5°C and +2°C. Springer International Publishing. p. 3. ISBN 9783030058425.

Further reading

  • Jacobson, Mark Z; Delucchi, Mark A; Cameron, Mary A; Mathiesen, Brian V (2018). "Matching demand with supply at low cost in 139 countries among 20 world regions with 100% intermittent wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) for all purposes". Renewable Energy. 123: 236–248. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2018.02.009.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 June 2021, at 15:41
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