Energy consumption by source for selected world regions


  • We see that world-wide fossil fuel consumption has been steadily growing, with an accelerated growth of coal.

  • By changing the region on the y-axis, you find interesting regional differences:

    • Driven by cheap shale gas, in the US gas consumption has increased and coal consumption has been substantially reduced in recent years.

    • In contrast, there is a breathtakingly, rapid expansion of coal consumption in China.

    • In Germany and the UK, we see that in the last 3 years coal consumption has gone up again, while gas consumption decreased. One likely cause is the rapid decline of prices for CO2 emmission certificates, which makes CO2 intensive coal power plants relatively more attractive than less polluting gas power plants.

  • If you set the y-axis to a log scale, you see that renewable energies had high growth rates in recent years in many countries (including NON-OECD countries like China and India)

  • Yet, moving back to a linear scale on the y-axis, we see that the level of renewable energies are still on a relatively low level.

  • Nevertheless, in Germany renewables have already overtaken nuclear energy, which is phasing out


The figures are based on publicly available data from several sources: World Bank, UN, BP, Eurostat, which I accessed via the comprehensive collection at datamarket. The figures are interactive based on the Google Chart Tools. I processed the data and created these pages with R via RStudio using the amazing knitr and googleVis packages.

Published on 14 Mar 2015