World Energy Balance, Comparison 1973 to 2007
The total final consumption (TFC) worldwide grew from 4,675 Mtoe in 1973 to 8,286 Mtoe in 2007 with 88 percent derived from the combustion of fossil fuels and nuclear power. This is equivalent to an average power consumption rate of 96,349 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2007.
At first the increase in the OECD countries from 2,809 Mtoe in 1973 to 3,770 Mtoe in 2007 seems to be modest for a 34 years time span. However, the OECD countries, with 18 percent of the world’s population, consume 45.5 percent of the energy produced worldwide. Meaning that they use about four times more energy per person than the global average, and thus are also responsible for about half of the global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other GHGs!
But when thinking about the world’s energy consumption, one has also to think about China. This huge country with 1.3 billion (bn) inhabitants is advancing fast. The standard of living of most Chinese has improved markedly since the Chinese economic reform in 1978. Even the financial crisis, which started in 2008, has not affected them too much. Their gross national product (GNP) is still rising with two digit numbers. Unfortunately, China depends on huge coal deposits for its economic growth. In real figures, China’s final energy consumption in 1973 was 369 Mtoe (8 percent of the energy produced worldwide) compared to 1,259 Mtoe (15 percent of the energy produced worldwide) in 2007. Emissions have risen by 5.7 percent per annum between 1973 and 2007 mainly because of the use of coal, which increased levels of CO2 by 4.8 bn tonnes over the 34-year period. And the consumption is still increasing on a rapid pace.
Noteworthy is also the comparison of the energy supply to the energy consumption between 1973 and 2007. Here, the inherent losses of our energy system are hidden, which rose in the given time span from 1,440 Mtoe (23.5 percent) to 3,743 Mtoe (31.1 percent).
Data Source: International Energy Agency. Key World Energy Statistics 2009. Paris, France 2009