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.
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. 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. 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.
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.
Worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels was 38 gigatons in 2019. 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.
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 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 fossile and nuclear energy is set at the reaction heat which is about 3 times the electric energy. This measurement difference can lead to underestimating the economic contribution of renewable energy.
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 are of 2018.
|Total||Coal||Oil & Gas||Nuclear||Renewable|
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.
For more detailed energy production see
|Export minus Import|
Primary energy is converted in many ways to energy carriers, also known as secondary energy.
Electricity generators are driven by
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. Big transport goes by tanker ship, tank truck, LNG carrier, rail freight transport, pipeline and by electric power transmission.
Total Energy Supply (TES) indicates the sum of production and imports subtracting exports and storage changes. 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.
|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.
Total final consumption (TFC) is the worldwide consumption of energy by end-users (whereas primary energy consumption (Eurostat) 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.
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.
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.
In the period 2005-2017 worldwide final consumption of
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.
In its 2021 report "Net Zero Emissions by 2050" the IEA presents two scenarios.
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.: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).:18, 19,Fig. 2.9 Use of coal falls 90%, oil 75% and gas 55%.:Fig. 3.2 Emission by the transport sector drops 90%, the remainder mainly caused by heavy trucks, shipping and aviation.:131,132
Investing in new fossil fuels is no longer necessary now (2021).: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).:81
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. 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).