Let’s look at a graph of primary energy consumption trends since 1965.1BP Statistical Review of World Energy. 2020. all data 1965-2019. Retrieved August 4, 2020, from http://www.bp.com/statisticalreview/ Several countries stand out through the last 50+ years. China has more than doubled its energy consumption since 2004. In 2008, China surpassed Europe, and then in 2009, it took the lead from the United States as the world’s largest energy consumer.
Trends in energy consumption also reflect economic situations. A look at United States energy consumption shows the effects of the 2008 recession: Energy consumption decreased as the GDP shrank. This graph also highlights the very poor economic situation in the 1980s right before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Energy consumption has increased in many countries as a result of economic development and population growth. Saudi Arabia and Indonesia doubled their primary energy consumption in the last twenty years. And India almost tripled its consumption during that same time period. The continent of Africa almost doubled its consumption in the last two decades as a result of new developments in industry and manufacturing.