The use of coal as a source of energy for primary energy consumption has been on the decline while consumption of natural gas has considerably increased. The United States consumes, by far, the largest amount of natural gas worldwide with around 779 billion cubic meters consumed in 2016. Following the Fukushima disaster, nuclear energy consumption experienced a slight slump between 2012 and 2103 but recovered almost immediately and has been on a steady increase since its brief decline. Consumption of renewable energy has also been experiencing a steady growth worldwide. This is partially due to increased awareness of the sharp increase in global carbon emissions over the years, leading to increased international investment in renewable energy.
The industrial sector—agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and construction—comprise the sectors with the largest final energy consumption worldwide. It is closely followed by energy consumption rates seen in the transportation sector and in residential buildings. The forecast for industrial energy consumption of natural gas alone is expected to exceed 80 quadrillion British thermal units by 2040. The projected energy consumption worldwide for that same year is estimated to reach about 815 quadrillion British thermal units.