Only 20 nations use 91% of global energy

A staggering 91% of the entire planet’s electricity is used by only 20 nations. The disparity in energy usage is highlighted in new research published by GoCompare Energy, which shows […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A staggering 91% of the entire planet’s electricity is used by only 20 nations.

The disparity in energy usage is highlighted in new research published by GoCompare Energy, which shows despite there being 196 countries in the world, power output is not distributed evenly.

China consumes around 4,921 terawatt-hours (TWh) each year, followed by the US at 3,848TWh.

This accounts for 24% and 19% of global energy output respectively, far more than India, which placed third on the list with 5% of global usage.

While China takes the place for highest overall electricity consumption, the data shows Taiwan uses the most electricity per square kilometre – 31 times the figure expected for its land area when compared to the rest of the top 20 countries.

A spokesperson for GoCompare Energy said this was largely due to the country’s “reliance on heavy industry including crude oil processing”.

The UK is the world’s 11th biggest consumer of electricity and the 312TWh it uses is six times more per square kilometre than the average among the 20 biggest consumers.

More than a quarter of the UK’s usage comes from renewable sources.

In terms of sustainability among the largest 20 consumers, Brazil leads the way with nearly three quarters (74%) of their electricity coming from renewables, followed closely by Canada (63%).

The report suggests Saudi Arabia, the 14th biggest consumer of electricity worldwide, uses no clean energy.

Global energy demand in 2016 slowed for the third year in a row.