Interactive: Tracking the Energy Titans

Comparing USA, China, and Canada in terms of energy

Today’s interactive infographic comes to us from the Wilson Center, a non-partisan think tank based in Washington, D.C.

This in-depth series of charts and data extensively covers energy consumption, production, imports, and exports in three different countries: China, Canada and the United States. These energy titans all have significantly different economies, so the comparison becomes very interesting.

China is the world’s engine and has over a billion people within its borders. The United States has the most advanced and diversified economy, but has about a third of the population. Canada is an advanced economy that is also a significant energy exporter, but it only has 10% of the population of the United States.

The interactive infographic is split into five different tabs: production, imports, exports, consumption, and impact. Within each tab, there are options to look at data on different energy sources and types of consumption (industrial, residential, commercial). Lastly, the charts can also be displayed in terms of total numbers or per capita.

 

The factoids come fast and furious on the right-hand section. Here’s a few we liked:

  • The domestic oil boom in the United States has cut the need to import oil products by 40 percent since 2007.
  • China is the world’s factory and its industries use twice as much energy as U.S. manufacturers and over 15 times more energy than Canadian manufacturers.
  • 82 percent of electricity in China comes from coal, pushing total consumption above the United States for the first time in 2011. But per capita consumption levels are far off when spread out over China’s 1.37 billion people.
  • In aggregate, U.S. drivers use 16 times more energy in transportation than their Chinese counterparts.
  • China leads the world in coal-fired power plants, one of the “thirstiest” methods of power generation. U.S. generation from coal has dropped precipitously since 2008, but coal and nuclear power plants still accounted for 37 percent of all water used in 2012.

 

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