Maps and charts

Change in primary energy production, 1900-2014

Source: The Shift Project Data Portal, from B. Etemad and J. Luciani (1900-1980) and US EIA Historical Statistics (1981-2014),


These graphs chart the development of global primary energy production between 1900 and 2014. The left-hand graph shows the steep rise in quantity over the whole period. The three fossil fuels, oil, coal and natural gas, experienced a strong increase – oil and natural gas in particular – but coal remained the primary source of energy until the mid-1960s, and today it is the second. The graph on the right shows the energy mix (the breakdown of production, in %). Overall, in 2014, fossil fuels represented over 90% of primary energy produced; only nuclear energy caused this percentage to decrease, and renewable energies remained marginal. In 1900, almost all energy was obtained from coal, compared with less than a third today, but the proportion has been stagnating since the mid-1970s, the period when oil reached a peak in terms of energy use (50%), but has been declining ever since.


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