World electricity consumption in graphics


If I’d ask you “which countries consume most electricity in the world ?” chances are your answer would be much inline with the graphic above: US and China are in a leaque of their own when it comes to burning electricity.

Now, if I’d ask you “which countries have the largest electricity consumption per capita ?”

What would you answer ?

Myself, I was quite surprised when I got the results from my latest experiment with Gephi and Python: turns out it’s Iceland, followed by the highly developed but sparsely populated nations in the far and cold north (Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden).


Interestingly, Kuwait is also very high up on the list – since they most unlikely have a heating problem like the countries in the far north, I’d guess the reason for their high consumption of electricity per capita comes from all the AC-units and fancy malls…

As for Luxenburg, also high up on the list… ? Perhaps it’s their banking and tax avoidance industry that consumes all that electricity… ? After all, it’s hard energy consuming work to figure out how to beat all the global tax collectors of this world… 🙂

At the bottom of the per capita consumption list, we find countries such as Afhanistan, Sierra Leone and Chad, where the electricity consumption per capita is some 3 orders of magnitude lower than in the developed countries.

For China, that ranks at the top in worlds total electricity consumption, the situation is quite different when it comes to per capita: they rank way down the list, with their per capita consumption being an order of magnitude below that of the developed countries.

And India, despite all their growth in IT and technology in general, ranks still way lower in per capita consuption, about a fourth of that of China.

I find these per capita statistics quite interesting, not least as a perspective whenever the discussion is about globalization and environmental issues such as global warming:  quite naturally, the ambition of the folks in the non-developed parts of the world is to increase their material standards, to reduce the gap towards the developed countries.  However, the most likely way that is going to happen (if it’s going to happen), is by increased production. That will by necessity demand much higher use of energy and other non-renewable resources.

Therefore, in order for the folks in the non-developed economies to radically raise their material standards, they will consume (much) more energy and other resources. As the saying goes:

“What if every single person in the world has heating and AC, drives a V8 car and has a fridge and a freezer, does daily purchases of  commodity items  from the globalized “just-in-time”-production and logistics machinery for cheap products that’s been shipped from the other side of the world,  and goes to Thailand for holidays once a year…? “

Will Tellus be able to cope with that…?


About swdevperestroika

High tech industry veteran, avid hacker reluctantly transformed to mgmt consultant.
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2 Responses to World electricity consumption in graphics

  1. No surprice that Iceland is at top. Small population with aluminum production of scale. Same for Norway although the per capita production is much lower.

  2. Fredrik, you are absolutely right. The scary thing though is that “happiness” for most of world’s people’s seem to be proportional to energy consumption per capita…

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