Thursday, February 12, 2015

Peak? What Peak? Europe's energy consumption back to 1990 levels

Image from "Eurostat" - h/t Luis de Souza


  1. Comment erased by mistake.... reposting.
    Phil Harris has left a new comment on your post "Peak? What Peak? Europe's energy consumption back ...":

    This is electricity, no?
    oddities in the original charts - we see FYROM, Albania, Serbia, Norway but I can't find Switzerland?
    And 'renewables' includes biomass and hydro, of course, though I am not sure how Latvia = ~100% renewables. A lot of electricity crosses national borders these days. I guess the aggregate numbers are about right and go with the economy.


    1. Phil, the report doesn't state it so clearly, but it seems to me that it is the total consumption, not just electricity. Then, about Latvia and Cyprus, that seems to be *production* which must be exceedingly small in comparison to *consumption*

    2. This is not normalize to the population. This may slightly change the picture.

    3. Ugo
      Yes, you must be correct of course. I should have understood this from the UK number for oil consumption in the eurostat chart (pdf). Oil is 38.3% of total UK energy consumption in that chart, but very little oil is used here for producing electricity. What threw me was the eurostat chart figure for nuclear as 16.6% of total energy, which seemed to me to be high. When I check actual UK government numbers I see nuclear in 2013 was responsible for very nearly 20% of UK electricity. These UK stats show the similar reduction in total demand / consumption of energy as the chart you show for aggregate Europe. (UK of course is now a net importer of fuel: oil & coal.& NG.)

      best Phil

    4. I think it is 'Gross inland energy consumption by fuel type', all products:

  2. Ugo,

    I already tried posting this once but I think I lost it somehow.

    I think there's more than one factor at play here. The world's per capita energy conjsumption continues to rise (eia data suggests), as India and China are rapidly increasing their per capita energy consumption, and many other places too. Historically much of the worlds energy was consumed in the USA, EU, Japan and a few other countries, with a big gap between their consumption and those in less developed nations. Now it appears that things are perhaps coming to balance out a bit. China wants to consume more oil, but the oil system struggles to produce more, so as Steven Kopits has said, China is drilling for oil in American petrol stations. In order for the earths resources to be shared more equitably, it is only natural that citizens in the EU and USA have to consume less, as their excess consumption is instead transferred elsewhere. Perhaps it is not such a bad thing for us to feel a little pain if it means that things are a little more fairly distributed around the world.



Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome and the author of "Extracted: how the quest for mineral resources is plundering the Planet" (Chelsea Green 2014)