Worldwide energy supply
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Worldwide energy supply is the global production and preparation of fuel, generation of electricity, and energy transport. Energy supply is a vast industry, powering the world economy. More than 10% of the world expenditures is used for energy purposes.
Of all produced energy 80% is fossil. Half of that is produced by China, the United States and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. The Gulf States and Norway export most of their production, largely to the European Union and Japan where not sufficient energy is produced to satisfy their users. 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 third of energy before it is consumed.
Energy consumption per person in N-America is very high while in developing countries it is low and more renewable.
Worldwide carbon dioxide emission from fuel combustion was 32 gigaton in 2015. In view of contemporary energy policy of countries the IEA expects that the worldwide energy consumption in 2040 will have increased 30% and that the goal, set in the Paris Agreement about Climate Change, will not nearly be reached.
Primary energy production
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
- fossil, using coal, crude oil and natural gas,
- nuclear, using uranium,
- renewable, using hydro power, biomass, wind and solar energy, among others.
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 production and the countries/regions producing most (90%) of that. The amounts are given in million tonnes of oil equivalent per year (1 Mtoe/a = 11.63 TWh/a = 1.327 GW). The data are of 2015.[note 2]
Click on a column header to arrange countries/regions by that kind of primary energy.
|Total||Coal||Oil & Gas||Nuclear||Renewable|
The top producers of the USA are Texas 20%, Wyoming 11%, Pennsylvania 8%, W Virginia 5% and Oklahoma 4%.
In the Mid-East the Persian Gulfstates 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 (254), S-Africa (167), Algeria (138) and Angola (100).
In the EU France (138, mainly nuclear), Germany (120), UK (119), Poland (68, mainly coal) and Netherlands (48, mainly natural gas) produce most.
Of the world renewable supply 1319 is biofuel and waste, mostly in developing countries, 334 is generated with hydro power and 200 with other renewables.
For more detailed energy production see
- List of countries by electricity production
- List of countries by electricity production from renewable sources
- Nuclear power by country
- Renewable energy production
From 2010 to 2015 worldwide production increased 8%, with big differences among regions. The EU produced 9% less, Africa 5% less, China 12% more, the USA 17% more. A small part of the renewables, solar and wind energy, increased fast: a factor 3. in line with the strong growth since 1990. In China not only solar and wind increased, 5 times, but also nuclear production, 130%.
From production to final consumption
|Export minus Import|
Primary energy is converted in many ways to energy carriers, also known as secondary energy.
- Coal mainly goes to thermal power stations. Coke is derived by destructive distillation of bituminous coal.
- Crude oil goes mainly to oil refineries, and is also used to make petroleum coke.
- 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.
Electricity generators are driven by
- steam or gas turbines in a thermal plant,
- or water turbines in a hydropower station,
- or wind turbines, stand-alone or in a wind farm.
Much of primary and converted energy is traded among countries, about 5350 Mtoe/a 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 2015.
32% of primary production is used for conversion and transport, and 6% for non-energy products like lubricants, asphalt and petrochemicals. 62% remains for end-users.
Total Primary Energy Supply
Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) indicates the sum of production and imports subtracting exports and storage changes. For the whole world TPES nearly equals primary energy PE but for countries TPES and PE differ in quantity and quality. Usually secondary energy is involved, e.g., import of an oil refinery product, so TPES is often not PE. P in TPES has not the same meaning as in PE. It refers to energy needed as input to produce some or all energy for end-users.
The table lists the world-wide TPES and the countries/regions using most (81%) of that in 2015.
This is the worldwide consumption of energy by end-users. This energy consists of fuel (80%) and electricity (20%). The tables list amounts, expressed in million tonnes of oil equivalent per year (1 Mtoe = 11.63 TWh), how much of these is renewable energy, and energy used per person per year in toe/a. Non-energy products are not considered here. The data are of 2015.
- 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.
- See Electric energy consumption (section World electricity consumption) for details, but note that the table there includes also internal consumption of power plants, about 10% of the totals.
The first table lists worldwide final consumption and the countries/regions which use most (83%). In developing countries fuel consumption per person is low and more renewable. Canada, Venezuela and Brazil generate most electricity with hydropower.
|of which renewable||Electricity
|of which renewable||Energy pp|
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 (83%) in the European Union, and Norway. The last four countries generate electricity largely renewable.
|of which renewable||Electricity
|of which renewable||Energy pp|
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. There is little consensus in the technical literature about methods and results in calculating these ratios, but it is likely that for fuels (fossil and nuclear), hydro power and wind turbines the ratio is at least 10, for solar panels about 7 and for solar collectors (hot water) only 2. In southern European countries solar EROEI exceeds ten but more to the North it is less as it takes a greater part of the life time to regain the invested energy.
Outlook until 2040
Based on examination of existing policies, the IEA expects that the worldwide energy consumption in 2040 will have increased 30% by industrialising India, Southeast Asia and China. Renewable energy meets 40% of this growth, natural gas consumption rises by 45% and coal use will not grow. Global energy-related CO2 emissions increase slightly.
With this policy the goal, set in the Paris Agreement, will not nearly be reached according to the IEA. More stringent decarbonisation options examined in the IEA Outlook include the Sustainable Development Scenario. In this scenario low-carbon sources (nuclear and renewable) double their share to 40%, natural gas rises 25%, oil peaks soon and coal declines inmediately. Over 60% of the power generated in 2040 comes from renewables and 15% from nuclear energy. The power sector is almost decarbonised. Clean energy technologies and energy efficiency take the bulk of the $69 trillion cumulative investment in this scenario but gas remains a major component of a secure energy system.
- Energy demand management
- Energy industry
- Global warming
- World energy consumption
- For history see articles on the control of fire, extraction of coal and oil, use of wind- and watermills and sailing ships.
Primary energy assessment:
- Fossil: based on lower heating value.
- Nuclear: heat produced by nuclear reactions, 3 times the electric energy, based on 33% efficiency of nuclear plants.
- The International Energy Agency uses the energy unit Mtoe. Corresponding data are presented by the US Energy Information Administration expressed in quads. 1 quad = 1015 BTU = 25.2 Mtoe. The US EIA follows different rules to assess renewable electricity generation. See EIA Glossary, Primary energy production.
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