Understanding the energy usage and production of different countries can tell us important things about those countries.
In this guide, we look at which countries use the most energy:
– in total
– per person/capita
– and, also, which countries produce the most energy
Summary – Countries That Use & Produce The Most Energy
Total Energy Use
In 2006, the US was the highest user of energy
In 2010 though, China became the highest energy user of any country globally, in part due to it’s growing economy and rate of industrialization
After China and the US, Russia, Japan, India and Germany and the next highest energy users
Per Capita Energy Use
In 2009, Iceland, Trinidad and Tobago, Qatar, and Kuwait were the countries using the most energy per capita/per person
Other reports indicate Scandinavian countries use a lot of electricity per capita (this is electricity, as opposed to total energy use)
Countries that have used the least energy per capita in the past have mainly been based in Sub-Sahara Africa
Total Energy Produced
Trends for most energy produced have generally mimicked energy used at the top of the list i.e. China has overtaken the US in the recent decades
Other countries producing the most energy behind the US and China include Russia, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Indonesia, India, Iran, Australia and Qatar
Energy Mix Of Major Countries Worldwide
Read more about the energy mix of different major countries worldwide in this guide.
Energy Use In Different Sectors & Industries In Different Countries
Energy vs Electricity
At the bottom of this guide, we’ve outlined the difference between energy and electricity.
It’s important to be aware of this distinction.
Which Countries Use The Most Energy In Total
China currently uses the most energy of any country in the world, followed by the US.
According to infoplease.com, in 2006, the world’s top energy consumers in % were (in terms of the world’s energy consumed):
[the US at 21%, China 16%, Russia 6%, Japan 5%, India 4%, Germany 3%]
As of 2010
China has overtaken the United States as the world’s largest energy consumer in 2010 (phys.org)
In 2012, the countries that used the most energy (in quadrillion BTUs) were:
China, United States, Russia, India, Japan, Germany, Canada, Brazil, South Korea, France
Which Countries Use The Most Energy Per Person/Per Capita
Countries in Scandinavia, as well as the Middle East, rank towards the top of the per capita energy usage.
Sub Saharan countries might use the least.
In 2009, the countries that used the most energy per capita were (in kg of oil equivalent), in order from most to least:
Top 4 – Iceland (16404.7), Trinidad and Tobago, Qatar, and Kuwait (11402.1)
Other countries of note were Canada (7534.0) and North America (7098.5) at 9 and 10
– See the full list of the top 19 countries at economicshelp.org
The countries that use the most electricity per capita are (in order from 1 to 10):
Iceland, Norway, Bahrain, Qatar, Canada, Kuwait, Finland, Luxembourg, Sweden, United States (telegraph.co.uk)
The countries that use the least electricity per capita are (in order from 1 to 10):
Haiti, South Sudan, Niger, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Benin, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, Nicaragua (telegraph.co.uk)
The total energy consumption per capita in kilogrammes of oil equivalent per year, and gigajoules per year, and in watts, as average equivalent power, can be found in the Wikipedia resource (up to the year 2014) in the resources list at the bottom of this guide.
Which Countries Produce The Most Energy
China, the US, and Russia are the top 3 of the top energy producers worldwide.
In 2006, a total of 469 quadrillion Btus (British Thermal Units) were produced.
[The top 3 countries were the US (71 quadrillion Btu), China (67.7), and Russia (53.3). Saudi Arabia was in fourth place at 24.7 quadrillion Btu
Canada and Iran round out the other top producers after Saudi Arabia]
One Btu is nearly equal to the amount of energy released when a wood match is burned
In 2012, the countries that produced the most energy (in quadrillion BTUs) were (in order from 1 to 10):
China, United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Indonesia, India, Iran, Australia, Qatar
Energy vs Electricity Use & Production
Note that there is a technical difference between energy and electricity use/production.
Energy includes all types of energy, which might include energy used for electricity, heating and transport for example.
Electricity obviously includes energy used only for electricity generation (and not gases used for heating, or petroleum fuels used for transport)