The inhabitants of the Scandinavian countries are record holders in the amount of energy consumed per capita, as the NASA reported.
Sparsely populated countries like Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden are at the top of the list of countries that use the most energy per capita per year.
Statistically, one Icelander consumes an average of 52.374 kilowatt hours per year; in Norway it is 23.174 kWh, in Finland – 15.738 kWh and in Sweden 14.030 kWh. The Americans, who are generally associated with consumerism are not that far behind. The average annual energy consumption per capita in the country is 13.246 kWh and in Japan it is 7,848 kWh.
The document showing the energy consumption per capita was develped by the experts of the World Bank and is based on data from a weather satellite Suomi NPP, belonging to the American agency National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The IVIIRS sensor installed on the satellite measures the amount of energy radiated by the atmosphere, land, glaciers and oceans. This data provide a picture of the Earth, which can be filtered to get a picture of city lights, fires or gas flares (devices in the shape of a chimney, burning gas in oil extraction plants, oil refineries, coke ovens, etc).
The experts explain the large electricity consumption per capita due to the low population density, the presence of other energy-intensive industries, the rich natural resources ( the production of electricity is easy and cheap) and the high demand associated with the northern climate and the long, dark winter.
Energy-intensive industry exists in Iceland, where the biggest consumers of energy are three aluminum smelters. Although their light is not too clear from the orbit, they consume – according to the ratings – more than five times more energy than all the people of the country together. (The population of Iceland counts 323,000, which is half of what Wrocław counts).
The large energy consumption in Norway on the other hand, is a consequence of heating homes and water with electricity.
Despite the high level of consumption, the production of electricity in the Nordic countries is based on renewable energy sources. Therefore, these countries have a minimal contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, as we read on NASA website.
For detailed reading go to http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=84468&src=fb (PAP)