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Global electricity market - statistics & facts

Electricity is a natural force that was first discovered thousands of years ago in Ancient Greece in the form of static. It was not until the 19th century though that electricity was fully harnessed for everyday use. Inventions that we take for granted today, such as the lightbulb, changed human history forever. Nowadays, electricity is essential for economic development and human well-being, and life without it seems unimaginable.

Electricity consumption

The demand for electricity has increased massively in the past four decades as it has become more and more important in our lives. Rising populations, economic growth, and increasing demand for consumer electronics has seen global electricity consumption rise from 7,323 terawatt hours in 1980 to more than 22,000 terawatt hours in 2019. Electricity demand is projected to continue growing in the coming decades and is expected to have surpassed 35,000-terawatt hours by 2040.

Today, China and the United States are far and away the largest consumers of electricity worldwide. Combined, the two superpowers account for roughly 50 percent of global electricity consumption, though the U.S. consumes considerably more than China per capita. In 2018, Canada had the highest electricity consumption per capita worldwide, at 15,438 kilowatt hours.

Electricity generation

To keep up with growing demand, global electricity generation reached a high of 26,730 terawatt-hours in 2019. Electricity can be generated in a number of ways, but the main energy sources used to generate electricity are fossil fuels, nuclear energy, and renewable energy. Renewable electricity generation has seen a noticeable increase in the past decade as countries seek to reduce their carbon footprint, with Asia a key player in the clean energy market. However, fossil fuels are still the main source of electricity generation worldwide. In 2017, the global installed electricity capacity for fossil fuels was more than four terawatts – roughly four times more than the installed renewable capacity. Despite its environmental impacts, coal accounts for roughly 40 percent of the global power mix.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the {amountStatistics} most important statistics relating to "Global electricity".

Global electricity

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Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Global electricity" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Fossil fuels and nuclear

Renewables

Electricity prices

Companies

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