Energy Transition

Which countries use the most electricity?

Visitors take pictures of the Svartsengi geothermal power plant near the Blue Lagoon hot springs outside the town of Grindavik May 12, 2008.  REUTERS/Bob Strong (ICELAND) - GM1E45D084001

Electricity use in Iceland was the highest level of any country in 2017. Image: REUTERS/Bob Strong

Niall McCarthy
Data Journalist, Statista
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Iceland

  • Energy consumption per capita is highest in Iceland, according to figures for 2017
  • Norway comes second but uses less than half the amount per capita
  • Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait complete the top 5 - due to air-conditioning demand

In 2017, global electricity consumption increased 2.5 percent to reach 25,721 Twh. When it comes to consumption, China uses the most of any country at 25.9 percent, followed by the United States with 17.5 percent. On a per capita basis, the situation is different, however. According to the IEA Atlas of Energy, electricity consumption in Iceland was 54.4 megwatt hours per capita in 2017, the highest level of any country.

That's primarily due to abundant natural resources that make electricity production affordable along with energy-intensive industries. The harsh and dark Icelandic climate also contributes to heavy demand for electricity. The situation is similar in Norway which comes second with 23.7 megawatt hours per capita. Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait follow due to considerable demand for air conditioning.

Image: Statista
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