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World energy supply and consumption

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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]
World energy mix, 1965 to 2020
World energy mix, 1965 to 2020

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 includes heat,[2] but not energy from food.

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 which 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 is increasing 1 to 2% per year,[4] except for solar and wind energy which averaged 20% per year in the 2010s.[5][6]

World Wind and Solar power (GW) [7]
Year Wind Solar
2012 267 104
2015 416 228
2018 563 489
2021 825 849

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 most of Africa it is low and more renewable.[8][9] There was a significant decline in energy usage worldwide caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the iron and steel industry as demand for new construction shrank. An increase in the global demand for manufactured goods by the iron and steel industry, could increase consumption to levels similar to that in 2019.[10]

Of about 50 billion tonnes worldwide annual total greenhouse gas emissions,[11] 36 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide was emitted due to energy (almost all from fossil fuels) in 2021.[12] The goal, set in the Paris Agreement to limit climate change, will not nearly be reached.[13] Several scenarios to achieve the goal are developed.

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Availability of data

Many countries publish statistics on the energy supply and consumption of either their own country, of other countries of interest, or of all countries combined in one chart. One of the largest organizations in this field, the International Energy Agency (IEA), sells yearly comprehensive energy data which makes this data paywalled and difficult to access for internet users.[14] The organization Enerdata on the other hand publishes a free Yearbook, making the data more accessible.[3]

Primary energy production

World total primary energy consumption by fuel in 2020[15]

  Oil (31.2%)
  Coal (27.2%)
  Natural Gas (24.7%)
  Hydro (renewables) (6.9%)
  Nuclear (4.3%)
  Others (renewables) (5.7%)
World PE per person, 2021
World PE per person, 2021

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 by IEA follows certain rules[note 1] to ease measurement of different kinds of energy. These rules are controversial. Water and air flow energy that drives hydro and wind turbines, and sunlight that powers solar panels, are not taken as PE, which is set at the electric energy produced. But fossil and nuclear energy are set at the reaction heat, which is about three times the electric energy. This measurement difference can lead to underestimating the economic contribution of renewable energy.[16]

Enerdata[3] displays:

  • TOTAL ENERGY / PRODUCTION: Coal, Oil, Gas, Biomass, Heat and Electricity.
  • RENEWABLES / % IN ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION: Renewables, Non renewables.

The table lists worldwide PE and the countries producing most (76%) of that in 2021, using Enerdata. The amounts are rounded and given in million tonnes of oil equivalent per year (1 Mtoe = 11.63 TWh, 1 TWh = 109 kWh) and % of Total. Renewable is Biomass plus Heat plus renewable percentage of Electricity production (hydro, wind, solar). Nuclear is non renewable percentage of Electricity production. The above mentioned underestimation of hydro, wind and solar energy, compared to nuclear and fossil energy, applies also to Enerdata.

Largest PE producers (76%)
Total Coal Oil & Gas Renewable Nuclear
China 2,950 71% 13% 10% 6%
United States 2,210 13% 69% 8% 10%
Russia 1,516 16% 78% 2% 4%
Saudi Arabia 610 0 100% 0 0
Iran 354 0 99% 0 1%
United Arab Emirates 218 0 99% 0 1%
India 615 50% 11% 33% 6%
Canada 536 5% 81% 10% 4%
Indonesia 451 69% 17% 14% 0
Australia 423 64% 33% 3% 0
Brazil 325 1% 55% 42% 2%
Nigeria 249 0 47% 53% 0
Algeria 150 0 100% 0 0
South Africa 151 91% 1% 8% 0
Norway 214 0 93% 7% 0
France 128 0 1% 34% 65%
Germany 102 27% 3% 47% 23%
World 14800 27% 53% 13% 7%

For more detailed energy production, see:

Energy conversion and trade

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.

Primary energy is converted in many ways to energy carriers, also known as secondary energy.[17]

  • 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)[18]

  Coal (38%)
  Gas (23%)
  Hydro and other (19%)
  Nuclear (10%)
  Solar PV and wind (7%)
  Oil (3%)
Export minus Import in 2021[19]
Russia 682
Saudi Arabia 388
Australia 296
Canada 245
Indonesia 226
Norway 185
Italy -114
Turkey -118
Germany -187
South Korea -239
India -323
Japan -357
China -803

Electricity generators are driven by

The invention of the solar cell in 1954 started electricity generation by solar panels, connected to a power inverter. The mass production of around 2,000 panels made this economic.

Much primary and converted energy is traded among countries. The table lists countries with large difference of export and import in 2021, expressed in Mtoe. A negative value indicates that much energy import is needed for the economy.[19] Russian gas exports were reduced a lot in 2022,[20] as pipelines to Asia plus LNG export capacity is much less than the gas no longer sent to Europe.[21]

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
China 3,650 2,950
India 927 615
Russia 811 1,516
Japan 400 52
S-Korea 298 151
Canada 289 536
Germany 286 102
Saudi Arabia 219 610
World TES history
Year TES
1990 8,700
2000 9,900
2010 12,600
2019 14,400
2020 13,800
2021 14,500

Total energy supply (TES) indicates the sum of production and imports subtracting exports and storage changes.[22] For the whole world TES nearly equals primary energy PE because imports and exports cancel out, but for countries 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 tables list TES and PE for some countries where these differ much, both in 2021 and TES history. Most growth of TES since 1990 occurred in Asia. The amounts are rounded and given in Mtoe. Enerdata labels TES as Total energy consumption.[23]

25% of worldwide primary production is used for conversion and transport, and 6% for non-energy products like lubricants, asphalt and petrochemicals.[14] In 2019 TES was 606 EJ and fnal consumption was 418 EJ, 69% of TES.[24] Most of the energy lost by conversion occurs in thermal electricity plants and the energy industry own use.

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)[25]

  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)[26] 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.[14][27]


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

Final consumption in most using countries and per person [14][27]
of which
of which
TFC pp
China 1,436 6% 555 30% 1.4
United States 1,106 8% 339 19% 4.4
Europe 982 11% 309 39% 2.5
Africa 531 58% 57 23% 0.5
India 487 32% 104 25% 0.4
Russia 369 1% 65 26% 3.0
Japan 201 3% 81 19% 2.2
Brazil 166 38% 45 78% 1.0
Indonesia 126 21% 22 14% 0.6
Canada 139 8% 45 83% 5.0
Iran 147 0% 22 6% 2.1
Mexico 95 7% 25 18% 1.0
S-Korea 85 5% 46 5% 2.6
Australia 60 7% 18 21% 3.2
Argentina 42 7% 11 27% 1.2
Venezuela 20 3% 6 88% 0.9
World 7050 14% 1970 30% 1.2

The world's renewable share of TFC was 18% in 2018: 7% traditional biomass, 3.6% hydropower and 7.4% other renewables.[28]

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[14] 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.[29]


IEA scenarios

In World Energy Outlook 2022 (WEO)[30]: 19  the IEA notes that Russia's invasion in Ukraine has sparked a global energy crisis.

The IEA presents three scenarios[30]: 20 

In Stated Policies Scenario (STEPS) IEA assesses the likely effects of 2022 policy settings. The share of fossil fuels will fall from 80% to about 60% in 2050. This would lead to global average temperatures still rising when they hit 2.5 °C above pre-industrial levels in 2100. A reduction of only 13% in CO2 emissions is far from enough to avoid severe impacts from changing climate.[30]: 21 

The Announced Pledges Scenario (APS) assumes that all government targets will be met in full and on time. Average temperature will rise to around 1.7 °C by 2100.[30]: 21 

The Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario (NZE) is a way to achieve a 1.5 °C stabilisation in the rise in global average temperatures and universal access to modern energy by 2030. This would require a more than USD 4 trillion clean energy investment by 2030, far beyond the reaches of public finance. It is vital to harness the vast resources of markets. In 2050 half of final energy consumption is electricity.[30]: 30  Electricity demand is 150% higher than today.[30]: 44  The share of nuclear in the generation mix remains broadly where it is today, around 10%.[30]: 47  Oil use for passenger cars falls by 98% between today and 2050.[30]: 53  Fossil energy supply drops from 500 EJ in 2020 to 100 EJ in 2050 while non-fossil supply rises from 120 EJ to 430 EJ in the same period.[30]: 58, Fig.1.17  (1 EJ = 23.9 Mtoe) Demand for critical minerals is set to quadruple.[30]: 61 

UN Emissions Gap Report 2022

This report finds that the world is still falling short of the Paris climate goals, with no credible pathway to 1.5 °C in place. Only an urgent system-wide transformation can avoid an accelerating climate disaster.[31]

Alternative scenarios

Alternative Achieving the Paris Climate Agreement Goals[32] 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. 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.[32]: 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 EJ in the +1.5 Scenario in 2040. In 2050 renewables can cover nearly all energy demand. Non-energy consumption will still include fossil fuels.[32]: xxvii Fig. 5 

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.[32]: 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.[32]: 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.[32]: xxii Fig.4 

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.[32]: xxviii 

See also


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


  1. ^ Jackson RB, et al. (2022). "Global fossil carbon emissions rebound near pre-COVID-19 levels". Environmental Research Letters. 17 (3): 031001. arXiv:2111.02222. Bibcode:2022ERL....17c1001J. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac55b6. S2CID 241035429. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Heating – Analysis". IEA. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  3. ^ a b c "World Energy Statistics | Enerdata". Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  4. ^ Ritchie, Hannah; Roser, Max; Rosado, Pablo (28 November 2020). "Energy". Our World in Data. Global energy consumption continues to grow, but it does seem to be slowing – averaging around 1% to 2% per year.
  5. ^ "Global wind and solar growth on track to meet climate targets". Reuters. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  6. ^ "Global Electricity Review 2022". Ember. 29 March 2022. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  7. ^ p.25 and 32
  8. ^ "Energy use per person".
  9. ^ "Renewable energy consumption (% of total final energy consumption) | Data".
  10. ^ Alvik, Sverre (2020). "The impact of COVID on the energy transition". Det Norske Veritas. Archived from the original on 8 November 2021. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  11. ^ Ritchie, Hannah; Roser, Max; Rosado, Pablo (11 May 2020). "CO₂ and Greenhouse Gas Emissions". Our World in Data.
  12. ^ "Global CO2 emissions rebounded to their highest level in history in 2021 - News". IEA. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  13. ^ "The Truth Behind the Climate Pledges – FEU-US".
  14. ^ a b c d e Data and Statistics. 2018. International Energy Agency. Archived 6 August 2021 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Statistical Review of World Energy (2021)" (PDF). p. 13. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 August 2021. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  16. ^ Sauar, Erik (31 August 2017). "IEA underreports contribution solar and wind by a factor of three compared to fossil fuels". Energy Post. Archived from the original on 22 April 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  17. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol.18, Energy Conversion, 15th ed., 1992
  18. ^ "IEA Website". Archived from the original on 7 June 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  19. ^ a b "Balance of world energy trade | Global Energy Trading | Enerdata".
  20. ^ Attinasi, Maria Grazia; Doleschel, Julia; Gerinovics, Rinalds; Gunnella, Vanessa; Mancini, Michele (4 August 2022). "Trade flows with Russia since the start of its invasion of Ukraine".
  21. ^ Tsafos, Nikos (4 May 2022). "Can Russia Execute a Gas Pivot to Asia?". Retrieved 29 August 2022.
  22. ^ "International recommendations for energy statistics (IRES)" (PDF). UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. 2018. p. 105. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  23. ^ "World Energy Consumption Statistics | Enerdata".
  24. ^ p.6,34
  25. ^ "Key World Energy Statistics 2019". International Energy Agency. 26 September 2019. pp. 6, 36. Archived from the original on 31 December 2019. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  26. ^ "Energy consumption in 2018" (PDF). Eurostat. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 June 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  27. ^ a b "Data tables – Data & Statistics". Archived from the original on 3 February 2021. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  28. ^ Fig.1 p.32
  29. ^ "Is There Such a Thing as a "Net Energy Cliff?"". 8 May 2017.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "World Energy Outlook 2022" (PDF). International Energy Agency. October 2022. Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  31. ^[bare URL]
  32. ^ a b c d e f g 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. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-05843-2. ISBN 9783030058425. S2CID 198078901. Archived from the original on 15 April 2021. Retrieved 8 June 2021.

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