Electricity represents 25% of the total demand for energy. 39% comes from coal, 19% from renewable energy, 15% nuclear, 20% from gas, and 7% from petrol.
In 2006, the production of electricity in the world was around 18 000 TWh, compared with 5 217 TWh in 1971. Between 1990 and 2004, the average annual growth rose to 2.9% per year and reached 3.5% in 2005. The greatest increases were in Asia-Pacific (+5.5%), Africa (+4.3%) and the Middle East (+4.7%).
If the demand for and production of electricity continues to average 2.5% per year, levels will double by 2030. Most of this future need for electricity will come from developing countries.
The current issue is finding a mixture of sources for optimal production in order to feed the growth in demand while taking into account the accessibility and price of resources, the sustainability of the materials supplied, and CO2 emissions.