Energy sources


Main articles: Coal and List of countries by coal production

In 2000, China accounted for 28% of global coal consumption, other Asian countries consumed 19%, North America 25% and the EU 14%. China is the largest consumer of coal. Its share in world coal production in 2000 was 28% and increased to 48% in 2009. In contrast to China’s ~70% increase in coal consumption, global coal use from 2000 to 2009 increased by 48%. In fact, most of this growth occurred in China, with the rest in the rest of Asia. China’s energy consumption is primarily driven by the industrial sector, the main share of which relies on coal consumption.

In 2011 compared to 2005, global annual coal production increased by 1.905 million tons or by 32% in 6 years, of which more than 70% occurred in China and 8% was accounted for by India. Coal production in 2011 amounted to 7,783 million tons, while in 2009 it was 6,903 million tons, which is equal to a 12.7% increase in production over two years.

If coal production and consumption continue at the same rate as in 2008, it has been proven that the world’s economically viable coal reserves will last for about 150 years. This is much more than is needed to produce an irreversible climate catastrophe. Coal is the world’s largest source of carbon dioxide emissions. According to James Hansen, the most important action needed to tackle the climate crisis is to reduce CO2 emissions from coal. The share of Indonesia and Australia together amounted to 57.1% of world coal exports in 2011. China, Japan, South Korea, India and Taiwan accounted for 65% of the total world coal imports in 2011.

Natural gas

Natural gas is a non-renewable hydrocarbon used as an energy source for heating, cooking and electricity generation. He too used as fuel for vehicles and as a chemical feedstock in the production of plastics and other commercially important organic chemicals such as fertilizers.

Production and consumption of natural gas is the main and increasing factor of climate change. It is itself a powerful greenhouse gas when released into the atmosphere, and when burned, creates carbon dioxide. Natural gas can be burned efficiently to produce heat and electricity, producing less waste and toxins at the point of use than other fossil fuels and biomass. During oil production, by-gas is sometimes burned in the form of a torch. Therefore, dumping and flaring of gas, as well as unintentional emissions worldwide, throughout the supply chain, can lead to a similar total carbon footprint.

Before natural gas can be used as a fuel, most, but not all, must be processed to remove impurities, including water, to meet commercial natural gas specifications. Byproducts of this processing include ethane, propane, butanes, pentanes, and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide (which can be converted to pure sulfur), carbon dioxide, water vapor, and sometimes helium and nitrogen.

Natural gas produced from oil wells is called casing gas (whether it is produced in the annulus or through the casing outlet) or associated gas. The natural gas industry is extracting an increasing amount of gas from complex types of deposits: sour gas, hydrocarbon gas, shale gas, and coalbed methane.

There is some disagreement as to which country has the largest proven gas reserves. Sources that believe that the Russian Federation had the largest proven reserves in 2020 are the US CIA (47,600 km3), the US Energy Information Administration (47,800 km3), and OPEC (48,700 km3). However, BP credits the Russian Federation with only 32,900 km3 , which puts it in second place, slightly behind Iran (33,100 to 33,800 km3, depending on the source). Together with Gazprom, the Russian Federation is often considered the world’s largest producer of natural gas. The largest proven gas reserves (in cubic kilometers) are 183,300 (2013) worldwide: Iran 33,600 (2013), the Russian Federation 32,900 (2013), Qatar 25,100 (2013), Turkmenistan 17,500 (2013) and the United States 8,500 (2013). As of 2014, 1,136 cubic kilometers of natural gas were confirmed in Ukraine.

It is estimated that there are about 900,000 km3 of “unconventional” gas, such as shale gas, of which 180,000 km3 is recoverable. Meanwhile, many studies by MIT, Black & Veatch, and the DOE predict that natural gas will account for the majority of electricity and heat generation in the future.

The world’s largest gas field is the shelf gas condensate – South Pars / North Dome gas field, which is shared between Iran and Qatar. It is estimated to contain 51,000 cubic kilometers of natural gas and 50 billion barrels (7.9 billion cubic meters) of natural gas condensate.

Atomic energy

Main article: Nuclear power

As of July 1, 2016, there were 444 nuclear fission power reactors (self-sustaining chain reaction) operating in the world, and another 62 under construction.

Annual nuclear energy production has shown a slight downward trend since 2007, decreasing by 1.8% in 2009 to 2,558 TWh, and by another 1.6% in 2011 to 2,518 TWh, despite an increase in production in most countries of the world, as this growth was more than outweighed by the decline in Germany and Japan. In 2011, nuclear energy met 11.7% of global electricity demand. Source: IEA / OECD.

Although all commercial reactors today use nuclear fission energy, there are plans to use nuclear fusion energy for future nuclear power plants. There are several international experiments related to thermonuclear energy, in particular ITER.

Renewable energy

Main articles: Renewable energy, List of renewable energy industries by country.

Renewable energy is usually defined as energy coming from sources that do not deplete as much as they are used, such as: sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. Renewable energy is gradually displacing conventional fuels in four different sectors: electricity generation, hot water / space heating, motor fuel and rural (independent) energy services.

According to the 2014 REN21 report, renewables provided 19 percent of our energy consumption and 22 percent of our electricity generation in 2012 and 2013, respectively. This energy consumption is divided into: 9% – obtained from conventional biomass, 4.2% – from thermal energy (NOT biomass), 3.8% – hydropower and 2% electricity – from wind, solar energy, geothermal energy and biomass. In 2013, global investments in renewable technologies amounted to more than 214 billion US dollars. Renewable energy sources exist in wide geographical areas, unlike other energy sources, which are concentrated in a limited number of countries. Rapid implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency leads to significant energy security, climate change mitigation and economic benefits. In international opinion polls, there is strong support for the promotion of renewable sources such as solar energy and wind energy. At least 30 countries in the world, at the national level, already have renewable energy, which provides more than 20 percent of the energy supply. It is believed that national markets for renewable energy sources will continue to grow rapidly in the coming decades.