Iceland Found the Right Way to Use Energy

By Zhiming Sun

As global warming is becoming a more and more severe problem, energy use is one of the major factors to be blame, since it's a huge source of Greenhouse Gas. However, it's impossible to reduce the consumption of energy, not only because the immense demand for human development, but also due to the continuously growing population. An effective way to save our planet is to use energy efficiently and to use renewable energy.

Energy Use Over the World (metric tons per capita)

This map shows the amount of energy used per capita in each country in 2012, of oil equivalent. You can see how the amount varies over years when you hover on a country. It's good to see that most developed countries seem to slow down the increase and even start to decrease energy use.

However, developing countries, such as China and those in South America, are in a trend of boost.

The country that stands out is Iceland. It has much higher use of energy and has dramatically increased in the recent years. In the chart below, you can see it's even the country with highest energy use. What's more, it's also among the 10 countries with lowest percentage of fossil energy consumption.

Hover on bars to locate countries

Energy Use vs. CO2 Emissions

This scatter plot shows per-capita Energy Use vs CO2 emissions across countries. As far as we know, they should be proportional to each other. Surprisingly, though Iceland has the highest energy use, its CO2 emissions are incredibly low.

It's the magic of renewable energy. According to Icelandic Energy Portal, about 85 percent of total primary energy supply in Iceland is derived from domestically produced renewable energy sources.

Energy Use in Years

Other than Iceland, there are 3 totally different types of country with different way using energy. Countries in Middle East, like Qatar, typically use a lot of energy, while producing great amount of emissions. Developed countries like the U.S, as we mentioned above, has relatively high energy consumption, but the amount is stable. In terms of China, though its energy use is not that huge per capita, it's population makes things worse.

How Energy Use and CO2 Emissions Changed

Here we can be definitely shocked by Iceland. While there are sufficient fossil resources in Qatar, fossil energy in Iceland is almost 100% imported. However, it exploits a bunch of clean energy resources, the majority of which is geothermal energy. That's why with such a great amount of energy consumption, it can still avoid destroying our planet.

Energy Use

(kg of oil equivalent per capita)

Energy Use

(kg of oil equivalent per capita)
CO2 Emissions

(metric tons per capita)

Energy Use

(kg of oil equivalent per capita)

Energy Use

(kg of oil equivalent per capita)
CO2 Emissions

(metric tons per capita)