Socio-Economic Trend

Primary Energy Use

UNIT: Exajoule (EJ)

Fossil fuels - coal then oil – powered the Industrial Revolution. The availability of cheap, abundant energy changed the lives of those with access. It changed the trajectory of those nations able to exploit this new energy supply. And it changed our planet through emissions of greenhouse gases, deforestation, industrial crop production and transport.

Graph Caption: World primary energy use. 1850 to present based on Grubler et al. 2012; 1750-1849 data are based on global population using 1850 data as a reference point.
Sources: A. Grubler, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); Grubler et al. 2012.

Caption: Paraguaná Refinery Complex, Venezuela
Source: Google/Landsat 7, NASA