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Electricity is becoming a more and more critical part of modern life. This flexible energy is used for heating, cooling, appliances, TV, computers, transportation and a myriad of other uses. Electricity use is on the rise in the world, and here are the top 25 countries in terms of energy consumption per capita. All values are in kWh or kilowatt hours and are provided by the CIA World Factbook. You will notice that the top five countries experience particularly cold winters, suggesting that much of their electricity is used for heating.
|country||annual electricty consumption per capita|
|U.A. Emirates||14,714 kWh|
|United States||12,878 kWh|
|Cayman Islands||9,102 kWh|
|New Zealand||8,525 kWh|
|Virgin Islands||7,681 kWh|
|New Caledonia||7,000 kWh|
|San Marino||6,653 kWh|
A couple of things:
1. A comment here says that almost all of Iceland's electricity comes from geothermal. This is nonsense. By far, the greatest part of it comes from hydro, the rest from geothermal.
2. Wise Geek isn't on the ball when it says that the high use of electricity by the top five countries is indicative of electric heating during winters. Iceland, which ranks no. 1 here, uses almost no electric heating. The amount is explained by very few people in a country with relatively great resources that go into powering industry that requires much power.
Now you guys know.
I agree that how these countries source their electricity is as important if not more important than how much electricity they use.
China's electricity, for example, mostly comes from coal, which means that there are serious consequences for the environment. They have had to open so many more coal plants to keep up with their increased electricity needs. There environmental damage is increasing because of it.
I personally don't have a problem with countries using lots of electricity, as long as they use renewable and environmentally safe sources for it. The threat is probably coming from developing countries who are starting to become rich, but don't have a vested interest in renewable energy and more efficient use of resources yet.
I think it is especially important to note that four of the the top five countries in this chart generate at least 30% of their electricity from renewable sources. Canada generates 65% of its electricity needs from renewable sources, Sweden 45%, Finland 30%, and Iceland, almost all of its electricity from geothermal.
If you were to look at what country uses the most electricity, it would be the United States. The United States uses about 25% of the worlds electricity yet has only 5% of the population. The United States only uses about 10% renewable sources, most of which come from hydroelectric.
If you compare the total consumption between all countries, the top five shape up much different. Looking at these metrics, the top five consumers would be the United States, China, the European Union, Japan, and Russia.
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