Talk:World energy consumption

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add chart[edit]

please add following chart:

Schematic comparing fossil fuels vs renewable energy

Nuclear power - consumption[edit]

In the table in section Consumption - Primary energy is 929GW for nuclear power (2006). But installed capacity is below 400GWe (see section Nuclear power).

In cited source http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/international/iealf/table18.xls 27.758E15 Btu = 28E15 kJ = 28 EJ (approx.) i.e. about 900GW

but see notes http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/iea/Notes%20for%20Table%201_8.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.228.230.250 (talk) 14:05, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

I agree, the numbers in the nuclear section simply don't make sense. 2658 TWh (Tera-watt per hour) is 9.6 EJ, not 23.3. And neither 9.6 nor 23.3 is 16% of the total mentioned in the top (474EJ), even give or take some drift for the numbers not representing the same year. Can someone clear this up? Uffish (talk) 20:48, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to be able to clear up all the questions presented in this section, but it appears the main article has been changed since these questions were asked, so I can only go on the numbers presented in this discussion. The 929GW figure is most likely the thermal nuclear capacity (sometimes written GWt). The 400 GWe figure is the amount of electricity produced. The output of power plants will frequently includ either the thermal output (total heat produced, including the heat that is wasted, i.e., deposited into the atmosphere as steam, or into a body of water, such as the Pacific Ocean for the San Onofre nuclear power plant in California, USA), and/or the electrical output. The electrical output is usually about 30 - 40% of the thermal output. 400/929 ≈ 43.1% effeciency.
TWh = tera watt hour, not tera-watt per hour. Wh is a unit of energy. W is a unit of power. Power is a unit of energy divided by a unit of time. Dividing power by time (Tera-watt per hour) makes no sense, at least in this context. This is just a guess here because I don't have the original data, but 9.6 EJ/23.3 EJ ≈ 41.2% effeciency.
See http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf32.html. Having said all this, the effeciencies I calculated here seem a bit high. They should be closer to 33% - 37%. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Leveretth (talkcontribs) 20:46, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

There is no mention of Thorium supplies in the article. Far more reserves worldwide (and easier to mine) than uranium. www.energyfromthorium.com is one resource with a huge volume of reference materials and original research from Oak Ridge National Labs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 201.226.61.96 (talk) 13:00, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Solar energy[edit]

http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/gsfc/service/gallery/fact_sheets/earthsci/terra/earths_energy_balance.htm might help with a source for the total solar energy received (the number's 4.4*10^16 W). This differs from the cited value on Solar Energy by a facter of 1/3 (The article on Solar Energy cites a 2006 paper that reports 3.85*10^6 exajoules or ~1.2*10^17 W or approximately 3 times the NASA estimate). I'm not very good with this editing stuff but hopefully one of you who's better can squeeze it in somewhere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.178.147.116 (talk) 10:00, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

I added a quick segment about infrared solar panel technology which potentially deals with the problem of solar power generation in both cloudy and dark conditions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.64.251.116 (talk) 23:30, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Remaning Oil[edit]

The writers for this section, judging from there references and comments, have confused "oil reserves" with the amount of oil available on Earth.

Current oil reserves may indeed be equivalent to 40 or so years worth of supply at the 2005 rate of consumption. However, reserves only indicate the total quantity of oil that is ready for extraction at the current moment. It does not include untapped oil fields, un discovered fields or in the case of many countries; non liquid oil.

Reserve figures are often manipulated for economic purposes, and should not be used to form a judgement on the worlds oil supply. The best method of estimating would be the average return of oil, per square mile surveyed. Based upon fully depleted field yields and with accounting for known geological factors. Based upon this method the number of years of oil remaining are far greater than the 40 described in this article. Oil supplies are expected to outlast coal and natural gas by some margin.

Thermal vs electric[edit]

I'm concerned that we are mixing thermal and electric energy numbers. They are not directly comparable even though they are in the same units. For example, if coal plants operate at 33% efficiency, one gigawatt of nuclear energy replaces 3 gigawatts of coal energy. So the 6% of energy from nuclear vs 25% from coal, as stated in the article, is very misleading. --agr (talk) 16:12, 14 July 2010 (UTC)


I agree, but more in general. The first paragraph should clearly state weather or not energy consumption rates stated in the article are totaled before or after conversion efficiencies are taken into account. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 198.36.94.35 (talk) 20:47, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Primary Energy Table[edit]

The table under "Primary Energy" uses watts, which are a unit of power. The table it references is in Btu, a unit of energy. Should the units be TWh? Also, the graphic with the cubes calls TW units of energy... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 205.162.225.4 (talk) 20:20, 20 October 2010 (UTC)


Unless someone has changed it since you wrote this. It says energy consumption which the only way you can gage a consumption is by a rate eg Power. So TW seems appropriate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 198.36.94.35 (talk) 20:42, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Double standard - uranium vs solar flux[edit]

The article states what the total energy flux from the Sun is, and then compares this to the reserves of uranium. This is a double standard, because uranium reserves include only resources that are economically extractable in the near future, while the solar flux from the Sun includes energy that cannot be extracted - for example it's impossible to build solar panels over the oceans or farmland, and there are raw material limitations.

To have a like-to-like comparison, we would need to compare the total amount of uranium in Earth's crust to the solar flux. Using figures from here [www.sustainablenuclear.org/PADs/pad11983cohen.pdf], namely that there are 6.3 · 1013 tonnes of uranium in the Earth's crust and breeder reactors could achieve 1 GWe year/tonne, this gives slightly less than 1 988 000 YJ, which is equivalent to 550 000 years of solar flux. There is about 3x more thorium on Earth than uranium, which gives another 1 650 000 years of solar flux, for a grand total of over 2 200 000 years. --Tweenk (talk) 22:26, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Number mismatch renewables[edit]

Renewable Energy is at one point referred to providing 6-8% of the energy (in the charts), in the renewables section it is given at 19%. I checked the cited paper it said 19% of "global final energy consumption" - I assume that is different, but it is really confusing and should be clarified —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.148.233.81 (talk) 19:35, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Also this text (or the oil reserves chart) is incorrect. It says "The estimates of remaining non-renewable worldwide energy resources vary, with the remaining fossil fuels totaling an estimated 0.4 YJ (1 YJ = 1024J) and the available nuclear fuel such as uranium exceeding 2.5 YJ." But according to the chart there are 35ZJ of recoverable oil. 35ZJ = 0.035YJ (or rounded to 0.04YJ). The text's number is 10X too big (or the chart's numbers are 10X to small). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 137.159.238.170 (talk) 21:48, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

"Renewable" is misleading[edit]

It is highly misleading to suggest that "biomass" is renewable energy. Trees are not renewable, just because trees can grow. Only those sources of energy whose reserves are not depleted more quickly than we can extract should be considered renewable, and we know that this is not the case for our forests. You might as well argue that petroleum is renewable, since some of the dead organisms will turn into oil eventually. 19% figure for "renewable energy" that includes "traditional biomass" does not provide a correct picture of the current state of world energy consumption. It manipulates figures to foster unfounded optimism. Sadicarnot78 (talk) 23:14, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

As the International Energy Agency explains:
"Renewable energy is derived from natural processes that are replenished constantly. In its various forms, it derives directly from the sun, or from heat generated deep within the earth. Included in the definition is electricity and heat generated from solar, wind, ocean, hydropower, biomass, geothermal resources, and biofuels and hydrogen derived from renewable resources." (see Renewable energy... into the mainstream p. 9.)
Each of these sources, including biomass, has unique characteristics which influence how and where they are used. Johnfos (talk) 23:53, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Biomass certainly has unique characteristics. However none of its characteristics, unique or not, match "renewable." Biomass is not replenished constantly. Take a look at these photos of Haitian hillsides and tell me trees are renewable fuel. [1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.44.92.28 (talk) 12:44, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

By country section[edit]

Some of the information in this section is misleading. Numbers given is not in KWH, but in KW. Are there anybody in Germany who use less then 6 KWH per year? Either these numbers should be converted to KWH, convention factor is 8.766 (365 days* 24 h in a day) or it should be told that it is average power and units must be KW. 84.237.204.241 (talk) 21:22, 8 August 2011 (UTC) Janis Brizs

US Energy Information Administration ≠ IEA[edit]

The first two sentences in Primary Energy seem to imply that the US Energy Information Administration is the same thing as the IEA (which is actually the International Energy Agency). We need to determine what data comes from what entity and cite appropriately. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Leveretth (talkcontribs) 20:54, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

what about energy from lightnings ?[edit]

32x 10^6 strikes per year x 5x10^6 joules = 1.5 x 10^14 joules which is not bad. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.179.49.217 (talk) 15:48, 5 November 2011 (UTC) See third paragraph about earth renewable energies. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.179.49.217 (talk) 15:52, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Oil Production Energy Efficiency[edit]

What is the world-wide average energy efficiency of oil production? In other words how much energy does it take to drill and pump oil out of the ground in relationship to the quantity of energy recovered in the oil so produced, and calculated on the average of all oil fields in the world? If one was to prepare a chart that graphs the history of this value over time, we would have a much better idea of the energy related danger our civilization now faces, as this value represents more accurately than any other the true cost of oil. Examining the trend of this value would be much more illuminating than attempting to pinpoint the nebulous concept of the occurrence of peak oil. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.224.70.107 (talk) 02:30, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

I think this has already been done, look it up starting from the EROI article. --84.153.80.165 (talk) 00:19, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Tables[edit]

The tables are all over the place, can someone please fix this.--Deathlaser :  Chat  10:30, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

first paragraph[edit]

whats going on with the first paragraph? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.183.220.193 (talk) 23:05, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Clarifications required regarding consumption[edit]

Please be specific in time of consumption.

Example: "In 2008, total worldwide energy consumption was 474 exajoules (474×1018 J=132,000 TWh). This is equivalent to an average energy consumption rate of 15 terawatts (1.504×1013 W)." it's not clear in what time 15 terawatts are consumed it`s obwious to me that it's in hours, but maybe it's not to others.

And if this is "World energy consumption" you should put an LARGE post of how much of energy was consumed like example: 2008 = 15 TW/h ; 2009 = ... ; 2010 ...


Similarly, in the By country section: Japan and Germany with an energy consumption rate of 6 kW per person and the United States with an energy consumption rate of 11.4 kW per person.. kW is not a rate so are these "per person" values over a lifetime, a year, an hour? 78.144.78.66 (talk) 09:45, 1 August 2012 (UTC)


You are confused about the meaning of Watt and Joule, I think. Joule is the SI unit for measuring energy, while Watt (and thus kW also) really IS a rate. It's the rate of energy consumption in Joules per second. So when the article says that the rate of energy consumption is 15 terawatts, that means that the rate of energy consumption is 15 terajoules per second. 83.251.27.165 (talk) 10:10, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Consumption vs imports and production[edit]

Any chance of someone coming up with tables that relate directly to consumption for the 'by country' section, rather than imports and production? --Oolong (talk) 13:05, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

The Swedish study does not say 'Renewables' it states 'others'[edit]

'Others' include many non-renewable highly polluting fuels like peat. In fact the majority of the energy from this 'Other' comes from the burning of peat etc. Unlike wood, peat is not regarded as 'renewable'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Boundarylayer (talkcontribs) 04:25, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Please don't use Watt-hour[edit]

I hate it when people use W.h for energy. Use Joules. And when people use W.h for the energy per unit of time, it's even more ridiculous. Use Watts.

So for instance in this article I read that the energy consumption for 1990 was E = 102,569 TW.h. During a year. That's 369,248,400 TJ, aka 369 EJ for the whole year, which correspond to an average power of about 12 TW.

--Grondilu (talk) 17:56, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Update please Yes- Done[edit]

The graph used in this article stops at 2005. Needs an update. Thanks.Wjhonson (talk) 18:22, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

The graph is updated. -- Con-struct (talk) 11:36, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Trends[edit]

Can someone please check the figures in the Trends section, specifically those for renewable energy potential, as I don't think they match the figures used in the source. Example: the annual energy potential for Ocean energy is given as 1 EJ, the relevant tables in the sources seem to quote a figure of 7400 EJ. Or have I missed something? Jim420780 (talk) 13:09, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

what kind of energy is consumed ?[edit]

how much of it is used for thermal energy purposes and how much for electrical ?

for example: house heating, car fuels, lighting or electrical devices....

how does it look like globally ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.180.23.0 (talk) 15:02, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Energy use in terawatt-hours per which period?[edit]

The first table (in the header) says that in 2008 we used 140 terawatt-hours, referring Eenergiläget i siffror 2011 figure 49 and 53. I was once embarrassed in the public citing these figures and indeed, main text says about 15*1000 tera-watt hours per year. What is the point of the Sweedish table? Can we have at least clarification what is the period of integration (weeks, months?) under the Sweedish data instead of the invaluable information that 1 terawatt-hour (TWh) = 1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) = 1012 watt-hours. I understand that you cannot translate terawatts into billions of watts without this irreplacable notice but can we also know what 140 TW-h per 2008 mean so that others people do not get embarrassed next time like me? --Javalenok (talk) 17:34, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

The number is 143,851, not 140. It is 1000 times more. --Ita140188 (talk) 21:19, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Thanks for not saying that this is not intuitive since here in Europe we use comma for decimal separator (and data pretends to be from Europe). Secondly, this still contradicts to the second chart anyway (140 k is way larger than 15 k we have for the world). Do you mean that legend is ok and nothing must be added to it? --Javalenok (talk) 13:57, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm from Italy, so I can understand the comma mistake, but in the english wikipedia dot is always used as the decimal mark. Moreover, international publications in english almost always use the dot, even if they come from different countries. Data on the table are more or less consistent with other data you can find on the internet, after the relevant conversions (these type of energy data are not usually expressed in TWh, but in tonne of oil equivalent or exajoules). Of course there is a great deal of uncertainty and these numbers also vary according to the conventions used. It should also be noted that there's a difference between energy production and energy consumption, final energy and primary energy, total energy and electricity etc., so it's not that simple to compare two numbers without knowing the context. I agree that the table is not really clear about this. --Ita140188 (talk) 16:18, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Wait, are you saying that 140k is produced while only 10% is consumed? --Javalenok (talk) 07:41, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
No, I'm not saying that. I don't know where that data came from. I went to the source, which is the BP Statistical Review of World Energy [2], and I found that actually the figure there is 11,466 Mtoe = 133,349 TWh. The other chart in this page shows a total consumption of about 500*10^15 btu, which is about 146,000 TWh, also similar to the figure in the table. --Ita140188 (talk) 09:07, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
World energy consumption.svg

Here is the figure. I see 15 * 1000 TWh. What do you see? Where do get 146,000 TWh from? Do you understand that 15k is very different from 146k? --Javalenok (talk) 15:14, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

If you sum all the contributions for each source the total is much higher than 15,000 TWh (still lower than 146,000 though). I checked the figure description and to calculate the data they used a factor of 0.38 to account for the conversion effciency. This means that they converted from primary energy to final energy I guess. --Ita140188 (talk) 15:31, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Inappropriate Edits By User Siphon06[edit]

Recent edits by user:Siphon06 are inappropriate for wikipedia.

  • 11:58, 3 October 2014‎ Siphon06
    • Edit-Comment: "Primary energy: removed subjective content that misses the main points of the data. It is irrelevant to the article what Greenpeace thinks or wants. This is about facts not wants."
    • Added Content: However, despite climate agreements, renewable energy targets and energy efficiency improvements, the increases in renewable energy are much smaller than the growth of fossil fuel consumption, as the following figures show. [no ref]
  • 12:14, 3 October 2014‎ Siphon06
    • Edit-Comment: "Emissions: added other emissions than greenhouse gasses plus WHO links to estimates of air pollution deaths"
    • Added Content: Greenhouse gasses are not the only emissions of energy production and consumption. Large amounts of pollutants such as sulphurous oxides (SOx), nitrous oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM) are produced from the combustion of fossil fuels and biomass; the World Health Organisation estimates that 7 million premature deaths are caused each year by air pollution[1]. Biomass combustion is a major contributor[2][3][4], even though it is typically counted as renewable in energy statistics. In addition to producing air pollution like fossil fuel combustion, most biomass has high CO2 emissions. [5].

I consider both edits inappropriate for wikipedia. The comparison of CO2 emissions between biomass and fossil fuels is distrurbing and distracts from the basic principles of the carbon cycle. Especially this source form the website "Partnership for Policy integrity" is inappropriate. Moreover I criticize these two edits for their tone, the absence of any links to any other wikipedia articles, as well as for the unsophisticated presentation of the chemical formulas (e.g. CO2 instead of CO2). - Rfassbind (talk) 16:38, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en/
  2. ^ http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs313/en/
  3. ^ http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en/
  4. ^ http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs292/en/
  5. ^ http://www.pfpi.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/PFPI-biomass-carbon-accounting-overview_April.pdf