In the mix — the energy mix around the world

Where you live has an impact on the forms of energy you use. At a national level, available resources have a big impact on the types of energy sources that are developed. For many countries, especially large nations with vast geographies and resources like the U.S.A and Canada, many different sources are tapped to fuel our incredible demand for energy — this is known as the energy mix. 

The mix is different in each country. And it provides us an interesting look at what factors influence these choices — whether it is what resource is abundant in the country or what the energy policy environment favors or discourages.

Each country’s energy mix will evolve with time and will change particularly as the world transitions to lower carbon fuel sources.

Did you know that, according to the International Energy Agency:

  • The share of non-fossil fuel energy sources will increase from 19 percent to 25 percent of the global mix by 2040?
  • Coal has increased its share of the global energy mix from 23 percent in 2000 to 29 percent today, but the momentum behind coal’s surge is declining away?

Using data from the International Energy Agency, National Geographic asked the question about what the world’s power mix looks like and developed this tool to answer the question. You can use the sliders to adjust the mix of energy and then leap forward to the year 2035 to see predictions by continent. 

According to the Planete Energies website, France’s energy mix is made up of around 40 to 45 percent nuclear power, 30 percent oil, 15 percent natural gas, about 8 percent renewables and 4 percent coal.

In comparison, the United States’ energy mix includes 26 percent natural gas and 22 percent coal but much less nuclear power (10 percent).

China, however, relies heavily on coal, which accounts for 68 percent of its energy mix while renewable energies represent 11 percent of the mix.

Canada’s electricity generation mix in 2013, according to the IEA, was 60.1% hydro, 15.8% nuclear, 10.3% natural gas, 10% coal, 1.8% wind, 1.2% oil, 0.8% biofuels and 0.1% solar.

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Energy Matters

In the world's conversation about energy, one point is beyond debate: Energy makes a vital contribution to people's quality of life, to society and to human progress. This is true today, and it will remain true in the future. That's why Energy Matters was created. We believe it's important to equip people with unbiased information so they may form opinions, join the conversation and feel confidence in the work and accomplishments of the energy sector. Energy Matters is an initiative that provides transparent information and perspective on energy. Here, we'll cover a range of topics: the scale of global energy; the ways energy is sourced and produced; current energy technology; forthcoming innovations; the world's future energy needs; and the sustainable sources of energy that will fill them. Because energy matters to everyone, we hope you'll rely on Energy Matters as an ongoing source of balanced information.