Which countries or areas in the world are the best in saving energy? Which countries are wasting the most energy and why?
Our target is to compare countries which are consuming the most energy and which are efficient in saving energy. We would like to give an overview of the „Top 5 in saving energy“ and „Top 5 in consuming / wasting energy“ and we want, that people start thinking about their wasting and how they can improve themselves avoiding too much waste. Our big challenge is to find a reliable map and sources.
Top 5 countries which save the most energy and are the most efficient
When speaking of Germany, it is not uncommon to hear the phrase “German efficiency.” Therefore, it is not surprising to find Germany on top of this list. According to a recent study put out by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Germany was the best country over all for energy efficiency, scoring high in multiple categories for a total score of 65 points out of 100 on their study.
While Ireland’s economy is based mostly on the service and IT sectors, the Land Of The Leprechaun did come in as sufficiently green. Ireland has reduced its carbon emission by 15% per year for the last several years.
Denmark has a population of about half the size of New York City, but, even still, its energy usage is remarkably low. Each Dane consumes about half as much energy as each American, and that does not have to do with the difference between alternating current and direct current.
The United Kingdom recently vowed to cut carbon emissions by a whopping 80% before the year 2050. And, in addition, the country’s main business, its financial sector, uses very little energy anyway.
Norway derives almost all of its energy from sustainably green hydroelectric dams and would be much higher on this list if not for its incredibly high per capita consumption of energy, which may be caused by its cold climate.
Source: 10 Most Energy-Efficient Countries (archive.org, formerly lifehack.org)
This map gives us a good overview of which countries are the most efficient. It is clear that we are not sure if this map is reliable but we just want to show you an overview.
Source: The World’s Most Energy-Efficient Countries (fastcoexist.com)
Because of to the hydro- and nuclear power stations – which emit less CO2 – the Swiss electricity is with only 33 grams of CO2 per kilowatt an hour one of the cleanest in the world. This value is referred to as “CO2 intensity” and corresponds to the amount of CO2 that is produced per unit of electricity through the burning of fossil fuels (gCO2/kWh). Countries which produce their electricity with coal power plants have a much higher CO2 intensity: 800 to 1000 g CO2/kWh.
The European electricity mix has an average CO2 intensity of 524 g CO2/kWh. However, you must make a decision between the electricity which is produced in Switzerland and the current electricity which is consumed in Switzerland. The electricity which is produced in Switzerland has a CO2 intensity of 33 g CO2 kWh. However, CO2 intensity of our consumed electricity is about (129 g CO2/kWh) imported from Germany which are generating a lot of their energy with coal plants. The Swiss citizens have an emission of 5.6 tons of CO2 per year, which is the average in the world. The highest CO2 emissions have the countries of the Arabian Peninsula (20 to 40 tons per capita and year) followed by Australia and the United States (17 tons).
Despite their clean electricity, Switzerland is not the star in the international level, because CO2 emissions do not respect national borders. Switzerland must reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Source: Does Switzerland emit comparatively little CO2 thanks to its very “clean” electricity? (energyscope.ch)
Top 5 Countries which consume the most energy
5 countries which consume the most electricity (billion Kilowatt)
5 countries which consume the most electricity per person (Kilowatt per person)
5 countries which consume the most oil
- Saudi Arabia
5 countries which consume the most gas
In fact, there are many rankings of countries but they all show different results. In our case we used the foundings of the CIA pagestatistics about oil, gas, and electricity consumption. In the end it is not really possible to find a statistic which shows us which country is wasting the most energy. However, in this statistic you can see which countries in general use the most energy over all.
Source: The World Factbook (cia.gov)
We asked the Swiss Government “why does Switzerland not belong to the top 5 countries in saving energy?“ We got the following answer:
“Wir sind uns bewusst, dass es in der Schweiz noch viel Potenzial gibt, um Energie zu sparen. Mit der Energiestrategie 2050 (admin.ch) möchten wir dieses Potenzial nutzen. Mit der ES2050 sollen nicht nur erneuerbare Energien gefördert und der schrittweise Ausstieg aus der Kernenergie geschafft werden, sondern auch die Energieeffizienz gesteigert werden. Weitere Informationen zu diversen Energiesparmöglichkeiten finden Sie bei EnergieSchweiz (energieschweiz.ch).“
Swiss Energy Strategy 2050 (admin.ch)
About the Energiestrategie 2050
„Bundesrat und Parlament haben im Jahr 2011 einen Grundsatzentscheid für einen schrittweisen Ausstieg aus der Kernenergie gefällt. Die bestehenden fünf Kernkraftwerke sollen am Ende ihrer sicherheitstechnischen Betriebsdauer stillgelegt und nicht durch neue Kernkraftwerke ersetzt werden. Dieser Entscheid sowie weitere, seit Jahren zu beobachtende tiefgreifende Veränderungen insbesondere im internationalen Energieumfeld bedingen einen sukzessiven Umbau des Schweizer Energiesystems bis ins Jahr 2050. Hierfür hat der Bundesrat die Energiestrategie 2050 erarbeitet. Sie basiert unter anderem auf den Energieperspektiven, welche zu diesem Zweck aktualisiert und erweitert wurden“
Am 4. September 2013 unterbreitete der Bundesrat dem Parlament ein erstes Massnahmenpaket für die langfristige und nachhaltige Sicherstellung der Energieversorgung. Der Bundesrat setzt in erster Linie auf eine konsequente Erschliessung der vorhandenen Energieeffizienzpotenziale und in zweiter Linie auf eine ausgewogene Ausschöpfung der vorhandenen Potenziale der Wasserkraft und der neuen erneuerbaren Energien
We have to say, that our research for countries which are efficient in saving energy was a success. On the other hand, the research for countries which are wasting the most energy wasn’t really a success because there weren’t enough representative statistics. For this reason we have different scales for the wasting/consuming countries divided in oil, gas, and electricity. As we have already mentioned, our challenge was to find a reliable source and map. During this project we gained a lot of information about different countries which enhanced our knowledge.
Team Q23: Adrian, Allam, Rafael