Friday, February 17, 2012

the global consumption of energy

Today's post goes into the global consumption of energy and provides a dataset in Excel for researchers on global primary energy consumption from 1830 to 2010. In other words, the energy contained in fossil fuels, uranium, and biomass in their raw form before processing into electricity, heat, or liquid fuel, and direct electricity production from hydro, solar, wind, and geothermal. The dataset, based on an assessment of seven different data sources, shows the following:
  • We are now burning 10 times as much energy as a century ago to provide the goods and services we consume.
  • Energy consumption is still increasing rapidly, with an approximate 550 exajoules (523 Quadrillion BTUs) consumed at the primary energy level in 2010.
  • Of this total 80% was provided by fossil fuels, 11.3% by bio-energy mainly from wood combustion, 5.5% from nuclear, 2.2% from hydro, and 0.4% from other renewable energy sources.
  • The historic time for each energy source to grow from 1 to 10 exajoules in primary energy production was 12 years for nuclear, 33 years for crude oil, 39 years for natural gas, 52 years for coal, and 59 years for hydro-power.
A graphical depiction of the data and comparison of sources can be found below the fold.

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