Which Countries have the highest per capita Energy consumption?

Quick post today: In keeping with the global energy use/production theme, here is a list of the countries that have the highest energy use per capita:

Country Name Electricity consumption per capita (kWh per person) Year of Estimate
Iceland 52,621 2012
Norway 24,558 2012
Kuwait 16,090 2012
Canada 16,020 2012
Finland 15,788 2012
Sweden 14,510 2012
United Arab Emirates 13,281 2012
Luxembourg 12,676 2012
United States 11,920 2012
Australia 10,238 2012

So what exactly does this list tell us?  Maybe not much.  We see a lot of countries in very cold and very hot climates appear high on the list.  This makes sense, because they will use more energy for heating and cooling.  Also, energy producers tend to be higher on the list, since they have cheaper fuel available.  Of course, more developed countries are higher on the list as well.

It is interesting however, to see this consumption per capita, because we often forget smaller countries in discussions about global consumption.  The US and China are always mentioned as the biggest energy gluttons in the world (because as countries they consume the largest amounts of energy), but the US barely cracks the top ten in per person use, and China is even further down the list (#73).  It’s a different perspective.  China is the biggest energy consumer, but because of their massive population, they aren’t using that much for each citizen.

In case you are curious, here is a per capita energy comparison for larger counties:









3 thoughts on “Which Countries have the highest per capita Energy consumption?

  1. Another interesting post from you. As an Icelandic living in Sweden, I first got a bit of a shock when I saw these statistics and thought “Can we really be that bad?”. I had to think to try and find an explanation. I’m thinking that all the Nordic countries, especially Iceland, have rather small populations, but employ a pretty developed industry, which reflects in the “per capita” figures. According to websites in Swedish I have browsed the industries are also rather electricity intensive. I tried to find websites in English explaining this more thoroughly, but quick searches turned up nothing. One exception though: I know that because of Iceland’s cheap electricity, the country has a rather big aluminium industry (it takes a lot of energy to produce aluminium from the aluminium ore). I could find this reflected in statistics from Iceland’s National Energy Authority (http://www.nea.is/ ), where it states that 71 % of the electricity consumption in 2011 was used in the aluminium industry (slide 10 in this pdf: http://www.os.is/gogn/os-onnur-rit/orkutolur_2012-enska.pdf ). So is this good or bad? Difficult to say. Even if I think it is important to reduce energy consumption if possible, the most important thing is probably that the energy used should come from renewable sources.

    • Very good insight from a native!

      Before you feel too bad, however remember that pretty much 100% of Iceland’s renewable energy is clean, mostly hydroelectric and geothermal. So your electricity that you use so much of doesn’t really release any carbon into the environment.

      Industries like aluminum (and worse) have a big environmental impact, but we won’t be getting rid of them anytime soon. We just need to focus on making those industries more efficient and less polluting.

      And also, the other energy gluttons that are not so clean (like my country) need to get with it!

  2. Pingback: Annual Energy consumption | Five Come Alive

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