Per Capita Energy and Wealth Levels

It is very difficult to have full economic development without about 5000-kilowatt hours per capita for electricity.

The UK has about per capita electricity generation for a developed nation at about 4500-kilowatt hours per person. This electricity generation needs to be adjusted higher if the country is a major importer. A major importing nation is bringing in goods and services that require a lot of electricity to be generated from the exporting nation.

The developed countries that are not using much electricity are often :
importing heavy energy goods
have good climates that need less heating in winter
have a financial or other non-heavy industry-focused economy.

The UK imports about $650 billion each year and exports $464 billion.

Here is data from 2015 which shows how major regions are increasing energy production and getting to higher levels of development.

China has added electricity generation and in 2021 is at about 600 watts per person. They are close to passing Europe average. China is a net exporter of goods while Europe is a net importer.

100 watts per capita is about 860 kilowatt-hours per person. (Philippines-India level $2-5k GDP per cap, $4-8k PPPpc)
200 watts per capita is about 1750 kilowatt-hours per person. (Namibia-Mexico level $5k-10k GDP per cap, $10-20k PPPpc)
300 watts per capita is about 2600 kilowatt-hours per person. (Thailand $6k-10k GDP per cap, $20k PPPpc)
500 watts per capita is about 4400 kilowatt-hours per person. (Portugal level GDP per capita, $25000 nom GDPpc, $35k PPPpc)
800 watts per capita is about 7000 kilowatt-hours per person. (Japan level GDP per capita, $40000 nom GDPpc, $40k PPPpc)

Indonesia should be at 140 watts per capita as they have been building power generation. Indonesia should be at 1000-1300 TWH.

ASEAN is at about 200 watts per capita.
380M (140 Watts per capita for Indonesia & 110 Watts per person for the Philippines)
200M (330Watts per person for Vietnam, Thailand & Malaysia)

SOURCES- Wikipedia, electrify the world
Written By Brian Wang,

52 thoughts on “Per Capita Energy and Wealth Levels”

  1. All the openings in the containment building would be near the top so air leaking in would sit on top of the denser argon. That gives plenty of time to fix the leak before sodium & oxygen get in dangerous proximity. Not perfect, but what is?
    As for lead being a neurotoxin: I would like to see the lead from defunct batteries etc. gathered into lead cooled nuclear reactors where it is far less likely to get into human bodies.

  2. Sad to say but containment buildings can leak. Would prefer molten lead although lead is a neurological poison. Molten salt maybe best but would have to find an alloy that can deal with its corrosiveness.

    If it was my money I would go with a Thorium Molten Salt reactor with lead cooling. Design so that it automatically runs at a specific temperature by physics. The nuclear reaction have a negative heat correlation.

  3. I read "Plentiful Energy" about the integral fast reactor. I had been dubious about the use of sodium as a reactor coolant. Then I saw mention that the containment building would be filled with argon. I think that solves the fire problem. There are also designs that use molten lead as the coolant or molten salts. If sodium is better than those except for the fire issue, filling the containment building with argon should make fire a non-issue.

  4. They tried. The project was cancelled after many years of failure and over spending. They should teach every engineer KISS.

    Ask the engineers this simple question. Since the coolant is sodium what do you do if it spills and starts a large fire?

  5. An attempt to recreate my lost 'essay':
    Aside from waterways being frozen for a few months each year, the waterways are interrupted by rapids.
    A dam & set of locks can be put in at each set of rapids so you get both a navigable water way & hydroelectric power, eg: St Lawrence Seaway. However, making the whole river navigable is a capital expenditure that might not be considered worth doing especially if there is already a railway when you get around to considering hydro dams.

    The Canadian prairies became a major agricultural export region after the Canadian Pacific Railway was built.
    Most of the rivers there are too swift & shallow & are more of an impediment to travel than a way to get somewhere. This has made many of them strips of semi-wilderness running through the farmland. I have canoed *down* some of them, eg: through the badlands of the Red Deer River. We put in where there is one bridge over the river & get out where there is another.

  6. "The modern world is post-industrial." Only because of OPEC and problems with commercializing fast reactors.

  7. More firearms are always fun. Political slogan hats only affect the energy absorption that occurs on the very small area of your own head.

  8. If I find myself 1/2 way through a comment that is turning into an essay, especially if it turns out to have references and calculations rather than just stream of consciousness… I'll cut and paste to notebook or word and finish it there.
    Most of all on my home Mac which tends to be unstable.

  9. In America the easiest way to reduce energy consumption is to stop all immigration and deport all of the 15 million or so illegal aliens in the country. Our population would be far lower now had we never had immigration and yet we keep inviting the whole world in to make the fire burn faster. This population musical chairs routine around the world has got to come to an end.

  10. I wrote a reply & the comment system said it failed to publish
    I couldn't copy it from the page to retry.
    Why would this %#^%$#^$% system do that?
    I guess I should *alway* compose a comment in notepad & copy to the comment system.

  11. I should have been more careful: it is the "gases reflecting very abundant sunlight and heat back" *to the Earth* that causes heating. Sunlight energy goes thru on the way down pretty clean, then heats the ground/water and is trapped trying to get back out as a different frequency. There has been some talk of a correction to a correction due to reflecting some of the stuff on the way in, but a minor factor. Methane is stronger than CO2, but does not last nearly as long. Trying to change the surface of the Earth is pointless, you need to have very thin diffusing glass in Space, so the energy never gets here. Pretty sure the mag field is a result of heat dissipation, not a cause or much of a dump either, good question!

  12. There are studies reflecting height in atmosphere of active *greenhouse gases* and absorption cycle periods out of the atmosphere for that molecules, but I don't know what is common knowledge in science or conclusion considering global warming on that topic.
    Otherwise reforesting on lower than forest albedo surfaces could help with carbon emissions avoiding massive technical ROE investments?
    Earth's hot core (magnetic shield) heat "loss" into space is reduced also?

  13. We cannot succeed in anything like that w/o being in Space. O'Neill pointed this out 50 years ago, and published soon thereafter. Total change in outlook!

  14. Very surprising, no. It is the *greenhouse* gases reflecting very abundant sunlight and heat back over time that does damage by heating. Our *needed* heat itself is tiny.

  15. So you agree w/ Musk that we need to get into Space, altho not perhaps Mars. You can average the power and still have a comprehensible number for comparison with how others usu count.

  16. per capita and wealth -> (not money/financial related, but energy/matter based resources/education/luckiness related discussion) would point towards Kardashev scale for energy conversion beyond 2100 and 12 billion human planetary inhabitants.
    What if our generations would be sentenced (from moral/ethic empowered instance or out of r2p) into restoring all/most taken fossil fuel equivalent energy (since 18th century and Newcomen, Watts technical milestones) back to Earth's planetary energy budget storage?
    What increase in above 0.04% will get locally additions, drawing into technical rebound effects or too much towards climatic tipping points, temperature level limits of oceans and at what time scale?
    "GDP (gross domestic product) per capita" is a taming rule to civil humans and our average time scale horizon …

  17. Its about not putting all your eggs in one basket. One nuke can EMP all the inversters in a country (unless they are hardened), the dustcloud from an asteroid impact can block out the sun, etc.
    I used energy instead of power because power varies a lot

  18. Fusion power plants add to climate warming on this planet, if used extensively in future without improved heat transmission into space?

  19. Sorry, I misinterpreted your meaning as referring to something in operation. But yes, the NZ project looks highly relevant.

  20. Yes, that is it. Highly unlikely there are two NZ power beaming efforts. Just starting. But no launched stuff, so it is more about the focus screens along the way, looks like. Of course, whatever they have should work in Space at larger scale too. Waaaay over my head actual phased array math.

  21. Link to NZ power beaming?

    I can't duckduck anything except discussion about maybe building a single small prototype for testing.

  22. On a Map Canada has a huge river and lake system, and is 1/4 a giant archipelago of islands to boot. Of course it doesn't help if your waterways are frozen solid.

    Now Australia is a different matter. This is the only "navigable" river system.

  23. LED bulbs are generally brighter and less work (changing old bulbs) than other bulbs. And by now they are much the same price. What's not to like?

    Low flow shower heads just don't work as well as full flow. But fortunately they are mostly a normal shower head with a washer added with a restricting orifice. So unscrew the shower head, throw the washer in the bin, problem solved. I've yet to stay in a hotel where this didn't work.

  24. Existing fusion works for me, collect the energy and use it! Also, why not just state power instead of energy?

  25. Thanx! The rectennae are a huge part of the power system. They are ~6 in. spaced screens on poles over farmland, or desert, or even water. 1 KM dia is usu design plan, but not set in stone. 1,000 m ^2 is ~Mm^2, and beam is 200 w per m^2 so .2 GWe per rectennae. I'm sure I'll be corrected if wrong. Could get more with multiple beams if they did not converge except at rectenna(??). These can be essentially anywhere, even in cities. They used to be 50-80% of the total cost, but the Space part is much cheaper looking now, and the land and other Earth costs in building the rectennae seem to be increasing, so say ~80% of cost. Use local labor and own most of the power system right off. Then, the energy is made into H at the spot, without making line current or long distance conduction lines. The H is used for everything, even line current for household motors. Criswell ppg 11-13 for power beaming.

    There are New Zealand power beamers that do go to houses, but the beams do not go thru Space.

  26. Should add that 1 GW powerplant can produce 8,76 TWh pr year, so we need to build 70000 of those/ 1000 pr year to have them by 2100.

  27. World is currently using about 160000 TWh pr year, or about 23 MWh pr person pr year.
    By 2100 there will be 12 billion people, all using 50 MWh pr year, or total 600000 TWh pr year.
    Its 3-4 x what humanity uses today.
    It can be done with solar and batteries, but one good volcano and the lights go out.

    Gotta get that Fusion going guys. Its the most important thing

  28. I was expecting a few in the middle east near the top, cheap rates and good supply.

    The average residential customer in the US pays 13.31 cents/kWh for electricity.
    The average residential customer in Qatar pays 0.032 cents/kWh.

  29. Actually, I was referring to the 'last mile' issue. One reason petroleum vehicles work economically is that the last mile issue was pretty easy to solve by shipping the refined goods first to pharmacies and stores and then to dedicated service stations – using existing infrastructure, i.e. roads. With any electrical distribution to this date you require dedicated single purpose infrastructure, whose pylons create a NIMBY issue when you build it. I suppose if battery packs become standardized you could use a similar approach, but I don't see such convergence on the horizon.
    By 'rectenna', I'm assuming a centralized receiver for beamed bower, regional rather than a village, much less house-sized, sized one. I haven't delved deeply into the suggested infrastructure, so I could be wrong.

  30. Just saw Bridenstein story, he is planet chauvinist, now that you bring Space/O'Neill/Space Solar up. Don't know which is worse, not realizing you are neurotic or believing you should live in a gravity prison.

  31. Janov is experiential therapy, which causes definite epigenetic changes, which are easily provable in classic science terms. Freud had some early good ideas (see J. Masson "The Assault on Truth") which he lost and now it is just talk therapy, nothing happens. Why do you seem to say info about neurotics is out of context here? denial is not a river in Africa.

  32. "include availability as well as capacity" fortunately the first step in Space Solar is Earth to Earth power beaming. Build the rectennae and the electricity will come!

  33. Lower energy use means less expensive products which are then more competitive. If you use less then it cost less and it cost less per unit used.

  34. I don't gripe about LED blubs. Not only do they save me money but I don't have to spend a lot of time changing blubs.

  35. Cheap energy grows the economy as people find more creative uses. Glad to see this analysis, would like to see one expanded to include availability as well as capacity. Doesn't help much if you can't get the energy to the bulk of your population. Also would like to see is the quantized effect of restrictive energy policies, as the US is now putting into effect, on economic growth.

  36. Good railways are the best option if waterways aren't available. See eg: Canada which is prosperous with no navigable waterways for much of it.

  37. Admit it. Who here was expecting the USA to be at the top of the list?
    I wasn't expecting Qatar.

    Clearly the availability of energy translates into a strong economy.
    As does the availability of water.
    Cheap transportation is probably high on the list as well. You want good internal waterways and good sea ports.

  38. That means efficiency regulations and standards. Certain people gripe about such things, when applied to things like shower heads or light bulbs.

  39. And nations can increase their prosperity even further by increasing the efficiency of their electricity use.

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