Few people can argue that electricity isn’t one of our world’s most greatest inventions. After all, electricity allows up to light up our homes without the need for candles or lanterns, lets us watch television, and even is used to charge or power the computer or smartphone you’re using to read this.
While electricity does have its advantages, there are also some disadvantages. This includes the need for large, expensive infrastructure, millions of wires and cables, and dangers in the home, such as electrical fires. Power plants also create pollution, which degrades the quality of the air that we breathe as well as contributes to global warming.
In this article, we’re going to explore the top consumers of electric energy around the world. Topping this list is China. Based on data from 2017, China consume over 6.3 trillion kilowatts of energy per hour annually. However, the highest consumption of energy per capita does not go to China. Instead, that honor goes to Iceland. Overall, Iceland is ranked 73rd in the world based on its total energy consumption at 17 billion kilowatts per hour annually. However, the average energy use per capital is about 50,613 per person per year. Compare this to China, which has a much larger population and an average energy use of 4,475 kilowatts per person per year.
The United States is the second largest consumer of electric energy in the world with over 3.9 trillion kilowatts per hour used each year. Other nations that use at least 1 trillion kilowatts per hour per year include Russia and India.
Other nations with high levels of electric energy consumption include (listed in order by highest kilowatts per hour per year):
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
On the flip side, there are nations that consume very little electric energy as a whole. The lowest is the Gaza Strip, which consumes roughly 200,000 kilowatts per hour per year. Other nations with low energy consumption include:
- Saint Helena,
- Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
- Falkland Islands
- Cook Islands
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon