Worldwide energy supply
This article possibly contains synthesis of material which does not verifiably mention or relate to the main topic. (April 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
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.
Many countries publish statistics on the energy supply from their own country or from other countries or the world. World Energy Balances is published by one of the largest organizations in this field, the International Energy Agency IEA. This collection of energy balances is very large. This article provides a brief description of energy supply, 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 Norway export most of their production, largely to the European Union and Japan 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 third 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 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 more than a quarter and that the goal, set in the Paris Agreement about Climate Change, will not nearly be reached. Several scenarios to achieve the goal are developed.
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. In this article Europe does not include Russia.
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 9%, Pennsylvania 9%, W Virginia 5% and Oklahoma 5%.
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 (249), S-Africa (158), Algeria (153) and Angola (92).
In Europe Norway (206, oil and gas), France (130, mainly nuclear), Germany (115), UK (120), Poland (64, mainly coal) and Netherlands (42, 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
- List of countries by electricity production
- List of countries by electricity production from renewable sources
- Nuclear power by country
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, tripled. In China not only solar and wind increased, 5 times, but also nuclear production, 130%.
From 2015 to 2017 worldwide production increased 2%, mainly in Russia (7%), the Mid-East (8%) and India (5%), while China produced 3% less and the EU 2% less. In 2018 world energy increased 3%, mainly in the USA (8%). From 2015 to 2017 wind energy increased 37% and solar energy 73%.
Energy conversion and trade
|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
- 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, usually in a wind farm.
Much 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 2017.
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 worldwide TPES and the countries/regions using most (83%) of that in 2017, and TPES per person.
31% of worldwide primary production is used for conversion and transport, and 6% for non-energy products like lubricants, asphalt and petrochemicals. 63% remains for end-users. Most of the energy lost by conversion occurs in thermal electricity plants and the energy industry own use.
Total final consumption (TFC) is the worldwide consumption of energy by end-users. This energy consists of fuel (79%) and electricity (21%). 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 2017.
- 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 (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|
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.
|of which renewable||Electricity
|of which renewable|
In the period 2010-2017 worldwide final consumption of
- coal decreased 3%,
- oil and gas increased 11%,
- electricity increased 19%.
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.
For fossil fuels, nuclear and hydro power the ratios were according to James Conca more than 25. For wind turbines 16, but only 4 if energy storage is taken into account. Solar PV has even lower values.
But Paul Brockway et al. find that such ratios are measured at the primary energy stage at the well, and should instead be estimated at the final stage where energy is delivered at end users, including energy needed for conversion and transport. They calculate global EROI time series in the years 1995–2011 for fossil fuels at both primary and final energy stages and concur with common primary-stage estimates ~30, but find very low ratios at the final stage: around 6 and declining.They conclude that low and declining EROI values may lead to constraints on the energy available to society. And that renewables-based EROI may be higher than fossil fuels EROI when measured at the same final energy stage.
If at the final stage the energy delivered is E and the EROI equals R, then the net energy available to society 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.
Marco Raugei with 20 coauthors find EROI 9-10 for PV systems in Switserland as the ratio of the total electrical output to the ‘equivalent electrical energy’ investment. They criticize inclusion of energy storage in the calculation of EROI for PV panels or windturbines, as it would make the result incompatible with conventional EROI calculations for other electricity generating installations. Measuring the performance of energy technologies ought to be done in a comprehensive analysis of a country's energy system.
Outlook until 2040
Based on examination of Current Policies the IEA expects increasing strains on almost all aspects of energy security (p.3). Including new announced policies and targets, New Policies, the IEA estimates that to 2040 the global energy demand will have increased more than a quarter due to developing countries led by India. Global energy-related CO2 emissions increase slowly. The IEA calls this scenario far out of step with what scientific knowledge says will be required to tackle climate change (p.7).
The Sustainable Development Scenario meets internationally agreed objectives on climate change, air quality and universal access to modern energy. The figure shows that overall primary energy demand in 2040 can be kept at today’s level (increasing efficiency), renewable sources can increase their share to about 30% half of which is solar and wind, nuclear increases to about 10% (by growth in Asia), natural gas increases slightly, oil peaks soon, coal declines immediately, fossil fuels will meet about 60% of total demand (down from 82% now). CO2 emission can reduce by capture and storage, decreasing methane emissions and eliminating flaring (p.7) from 33 Gt in 2017 to 18 Gt in 2040 (Table 1.5). The global annual average energy investment in the period 2026-40 could amount to $3.3 trillion of which $0.7 trillion for renewables (Table 1.7).
Many scenario's are possible. The actions taken by governments will be decisive in determining which path to follow. As of 2019, there is still a chance of keeping global warming below 1.5°C if no more fossil fuel power plants are built and some existing fossil fuel power plants are shut down early, together with other measures such as reforestation.
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).
- 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.
- "Energy expenditures". Archived from the original on 18 October 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- "World Energy Balances 2019".
- "United States - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)". www.eia.gov. Retrieved 10 Sep 2019.
- "Renewables Information 2019: Overview".
- IEA Statistics search, select Country/Region, Balances or Electricity and Heat.
- "World Energy Statistics | Energy Supply & Demand | Enerdata".
- "Renewable Energy Statistics 2019".
- Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol.18, Energy Conversion, 15th ed., 1992
- IEA KeyWorld2017, see Glossary
- "EROI -- A Tool to Predict the Best Energy Mix".
- Brockway, Paul E.; Owen, Anne; Brand-Correa, Lina I.; Hardt, Lukas (2019). "Estimation of global final-stage energy-return-on-investment for fossil fuels with comparison to renewable energy sources". Nature Energy. 4 (7): 612–621. Bibcode:2019NatEn...4..612B. doi:10.1038/s41560-019-0425-z.
- Raugei, Marco; Sgouridis, Sgouris; Murphy, David; Fthenakis, Vasilis; Frischknecht, Rolf; Breyer, Christian; Bardi, Ugo; Barnhart, Charles; Buckley, Alastair; Carbajales-Dale, Michael; Csala, Denes; De Wild-Scholten, Mariska; Heath, Garvin; Jæger-Waldau, Arnulf; Jones, Christopher; Keller, Arthur; Leccisi, Enrica; Mancarella, Pierluigi; Pearsall, Nicola; Siegel, Adam; Sinke, Wim; Stolz, Philippe (2017). "Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI) for photovoltaic solar systems in regions of moderate insolation: A comprehensive response". Energy Policy. 102: 377–384. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2016.12.042.
- IEA World Energy Outlook 2018
- IEA  select Sustainable Development Scenario
- "World Energy Outlook 2018".
- "We have too many fossil-fuel power plants to meet climate goals". Environment. 2019-07-01. Retrieved 2019-07-08.
- 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.
- Smart Energy Strategies: Meeting the Climate Change Challenge. Wirtschaft, Energie, Umwelt. vdf Hochschulverlag AG. 2008. pp. 79–80. ISBN 978-3-7281-3218-5. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Jacobson, Mark Z; Delucchi, Mark A; Bauer, Zack A.F; Goodman, Savannah C; Chapman, William E; Cameron, Mary A; Bozonnat, Cedric; Chobadi, Liat; Clonts, Hailey A; Enevoldsen, Peter; Erwin, Jenny R; Fobi, Simone N; Goldstrom, Owen K; Hennessy, Eleanor M; Liu, Jingyi; Lo, Jonathan; Meyer, Clayton B; Morris, Sean B; Moy, Kevin R; O'Neill, Patrick L; Petkov, Ivalin; Redfern, Stephanie; Schucker, Robin; Sontag, Michael A; Wang, Jingfan; Weiner, Eric; Yachanin, Alexander S (2017). "100% Clean and Renewable Wind, Water, and Sunlight All-Sector Energy Roadmaps for 139 Countries of the World". Joule. 1: 108–121. doi:10.1016/j.joule.2017.07.005.
- 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.