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Mon 11 December 2017

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Users and Uses of Energy

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Uses and Users of Energy

The spread of energy is very unequal across the world. The North tends to use most of the energy averaging about almost 4 tonnes a head whilst those situated in the South have between 0 and 1 tonne per head consumption per capita break down is shown on the world map below.

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Image from BP

Industrial activity is also more common place in the North which uses more energy than the agriculture which takes place in the South. However the underlying disparity is the difference in the standards of livings between the two areas, with most of the North making do with cars, televisions etc… and those in the South having to make do without.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development is a group of 30 democratic member countries that share common economic goals. The members are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

These countries constitute the majority of the energy users across the world as shown below.

OECD country Usage of Energy 1973

OECD country Usage of Energy 1999

Although the distribution has shown signs of evening out there is still a huge gap in consumption of energy with the undeveloped world holding the majority of the global population but using the minority of the energy. This issue of inter-generational inequality becomes a lot more controversial when the environment is brought into the equation as many developing countries consider it unfair that they are asked to pollute less than developed countries even though they have a larger population.

The pie chart below shows what the main uses of energy are in America which is representative of much of the Western world.

Uses of Energy in the US

As we can see much of the energy is used in transport and residential. In many countries these are almost negligible as there is not enough wealth to buy cars or travel by other fuel consuming methods. Residential energy costs are also very low as very few people will afford heating and cooling and even less will have access to a television or computer.



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