Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
After my previous post on the subject of the fuel mix that powers the planet, I thought I’d take another look at energy use, this time by region and country. Let me start with the country that uses the most energy. No, it’s not the US … it’s China. Here is China’s energy use since 1965. All figures in all graphs are actual consumption of the fuel type, not nominal nameplate capacity.
Coal is the mainstay of China’s fuel mix. Despite all the hype about their push for renewables, they are only 3% of the total. They’ve increased nuclear, hydro, and gas.
Next in size is the US. Here’s our fuel mix, to the same scale. I’ve used that scale for all of the first group of graphs so we can compare the actual size of the energy usage.
US fuel use has been about level since around 2000. The decrease in coal has been matched by an increase in gas, aided by a rise in renewables.
We’ll get to the other countries in a moment, they use much less energy. In terms of size of energy usage, the next smaller unit is the region of Europe, again at the same scale:
Total European energy use is about the same size as that of the US. It uses less fossil fuels than the US, with the difference made up mostly by hydro and nuclear, along with a 9% contribution from renewables.
Next in size is the CIS, the old USSR which is now the Commonwealth of Independent States— Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
As you can see, the CIS countries run mostly on Russian natural gas … and as you can see, they are not that thrilled by renewables. None of the above. You can also see the economic effect of the fall of the Soviet Empire around 1990.
Next down in size is the Middle East. Care to guess what fuels the Middle East?
I knew you’d know … and I see that they are just as interested in renewables as is the CIS …
Next smaller is India. There has been a lot of talk lately about how India is investing in solar and solar is growing … here’s the reality.
Solar … six-tenths of one percent. India runs mostly on oil, coal, and gas, 92%.
Next in size is South and Central America.
In part because South America has no coal but is blessed with big rivers, hydro provides 22% of the energy. In addition, the sugar cane fields of Brazil provide biofuel, and they burn the bagasse (sugar cane with the sugar crushed out of it) to fuel the sugar mills. So fossil fuel usage is low, and renewables are 8%.
Next in size, we have Japan. At this point, we’re getting down the list to areas whose energy use is small enough that I’ll have to quintuple the scale on the graphs to show the details. So further graphs will be five times as large as if I used the same scale used in all the graphs above. Here is Japan on that expanded scale.
Japan is an interesting case, in that they basically shut down their nuclear power nationwide after the Fukushima tsunami disaster. They replaced the nuclear with fossil fuels. I understand that recently they are beginning to restart the nuclear program.
Next after Japan is … all of Africa! Yikes. An entire continent using less energy than one tiny island …
Africa has fossil fuels, hydro, and not much else … one percent renewables.
Next in line is Canada.
Canada has lots of hydro and some nuclear, so fossil fuels are only 65% of the mix. Renewables, 3%, Then we have Germany.
Germany is an interesting case, because it has been the poster child in the crazy war on fossil fuels. Note how they’ve been shuttering their nuclear plants. In doing so they’ve raised their renewable use to 14%. However, it’s gotten to the point where the German people are getting tired of the push for renewables, which has driven the energy prices through the roof. See e.g. Germany’s Green Transition Has Hit A Brick Wall. The pattern is clear—the more installed renewable energy capacity a country has, the higher the electricity price.
Germany has hit the saturation point and still only gets about one-seventh of its energy from renewables.
Now, before y’all Germans start saying that all of the personal, business, and economic costs of the transition towards renewables are worth it because of the big difference that your getting to 14% renewables has made to the planet, here’s the chart of German fuel use by type as above, but this time to the scale of the whole world’s fuel use:
See the colored lines down at the bottom? That’s the German portion of the world energy use, shown on the same scale as the world fuel mix in the background, and using the exact same data as in the detailed German chart above.
And when considering the world energy usage, you cannot even see the German renewable consumption …
Finally, returning to the detailed scale used above, here’s France, where people in yellow vests are in open revolt against carbon taxes.
As in many countries, even after pushing hard for renewables, in France the percentage is still small. Note the strong dependence on nuclear. Curiously, France is showing us the only practical way to replace fossil fuels … by splitting atoms. In 1975, almost all of France’s energy came from fossil fuels, and today it’s only 53% because of nuclear energy.
Here’s an oddity. France’s large amount of baseline nuclear energy is one reason that Germany is able to have high renewable usage. When the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing, Germany imports nuclear electricity from France. If it were not for that French nuclear power the Germans would be shivering in the dark …
And here is Spain, where the Government has decided to stop throwing good money after bad regarding renewables …
Once again, when the renewables were subsidized to the point of economic insanity, the people revolted and stopped the madness.
Well, that’s likely enough of a look at the energy usage of regions and countries. And what is my point in all of this?
My point is simple. We’re not going to be able to power the planet using any of our current mix of renewables. The claims by rabid green supporters that we can get to 100% renewables are just fever dreams. Current renewables are too expensive, too weak, and too intermittent to ever power the planet. And that is why the historical change in the total global consumption of renewable energy looks like this:
That graph shows the problem. After decades and decades of subsidies, grants, and government spending starting back during the time of Jimmy Carter, and after “cap and trade” systems, and renewables mandates, and carbon taxes, and public pressure, after “carbon-shaming” lectures by jet-setting Hollywood hypocrites, and fiery speeches by politicians promising Thermageddon if we don’t mend our evil ways, and endless IPCC reports, and indoctrination in the schools and universities … after all of that including billions and billions of dollars spent on propping up renewable energy, you can see that the consumption of renewables has barely made it up off of the floor …
So I’m here to spread the latest news about the loony “War On Carbon” that climate alarmists have been fighting for nearly half a century now …
[UPDATE] In the comments, someone asked for the equivalent graphic for the UK. It’s below. There may be others, per request. Unless otherwise noted, I’ll put them at the same scale as Germany, France, and Spain above.
And here’s Norway. Because Norway is so small, I’ve put it at five times the scale of the UK graph above. Norway is the land of endless hydro.
Here’s Denmark, to the scale of Norway:
Curious … Denmark is using less fuel than it did in 1970.
And here is Australia, not to the scale of Denmark and Norway above, but to the scale of Germany, Spain, UK, and France:
Here’s Finland. It is very small, so I’ve used a larger scale than any of the graphs above.
Coal, oil, and gas use has declined, hydro is steady, nuclear and biomass (forest waste) are up
From the antipodes, here’s New Zealand …
Interesting. Big growth in hydro and gas. No nukes.
Here’s Netherlands, for Marcel.
Mostly gas and oil, a bit of coal …
A sunny day to everyone,
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