World energy consumption

world energy consumption graph from wikimedia

CO2-equivalent lifecycle emissions of several energy sources

screen shot 2017-01-28 at 4 18 59 pm

Sources for CO2-Equivalent graph cited through the Emission Factors of Common Fuels table in Wikipedia’s page on Emission intensity. Minimum/maximum variations depend on fuel quality and how the fuel is sourced and processed.

Energy return on energy invested (EROEI)

You have to use some energy to get the energy you need to use. Changing ratios provide a useful look at energy pinch points. Oil was originally ~100:1, now it's closer to 20:1.

Natural gas 20-40:1
Oil 20:1
Wind 20:1
Nuclear (new) 15:1
Solar 10:1
Sugar cane ethanol 8:1
Tar sands 5:1
Shale oil 3:1
Corn ethanol (optimistic) 1.4:1


Electricity generation by fuel

  • Projected electricity generation by fuel in the United States: EIA projection EIA
  • Norway meets nearly all of its electrical power needs through hydro Hug, 6
  • France is a leader in nuclear power, which accounts for about 3/4 of its electrical energy Hug, 6
  • Denmark is a leader in wind, which was 19% of its total electric energy demand in 2006 Hug, 6
  • Norway & Sweden have strong hydropower resources, which can be time-moderated; Denmark's wind power is more sporadic. Denmark can trade high production from wind farms to Norway and Sweden when it is cheap, and purchase timely hydropower when wind is not meeting demand Hug, 6

Electrical energy consumption

  • 20% of energy consumption worldwide is electrical Hug, 14
  • The major uses of electrical energy are to create mechanical energy, chemical energy, heat, and light Hug, 14
  • In industrialized countries, electrical energy consumption is divided roughly in thirds by consumer: public sector, industry, and households Hug, 14


  • No country, as of 2000, uses local power as a major (even non-negligible) energy source Smil, 49
  • Startup fuel cost of a generator is a quasi-fixed cost– it is "fixed" in that it doesn't depend on the amount of energy produced, but doesn't count as a fixed cost because it would not be a cost if no energy were to be produced [Kirschen, 29]

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