The International Energy Agency (IEA) works with its 30 member countries to create and utilize reliable and clean energy for those countries and even further. The IEA’s World Energy Balances shares detailed information for over 150 countries all around the world and what their energy usage looks like. This information has been gathered into a comprehensive report and shared by the IEA. 

The report is very extensive, but examining some of the information provides interesting insights into energy usage in various countries and regions around the world.

This report looks at changes in production for the last few decades, from 1971, and then where it stands as of 2017. It is possible to also view the research conducted as of 2018, though you can do so by purchasing it or accessing it through your account on the IEA website.


World energy production increased by 2.2 percent between 2016 and 2017. The increase was primarily due to coal and natural gas, which increased significantly. The area that increased the most was “other renewables” (those energies besides hydro energy and biofuels).

The production of fuel is concentrated in a very small amount of countries. Half of that energy is produced by five countries, by primarily in two of those five countries. Those five countries are: China, France, the United States, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. Between the United States and France, they account for around 50 percent of the world’s nuclear energy, while Russia and the United States produces around 40 percent of the world’s natural gas. China is responsible for producing about half of the world’s coal. The United States, Russia, and Saudi Arabia produce a little below 40 percent of the world’s oil. As you can see, these five countries are major players in the world energy market.

Between 1971 and 2017, the total primary energy supply (TPES) in the world increased by over 2.5 times. The biggest changes were in oil and gas, with oil moving from 44 percent of TPES to 32 percent and gas increasing from 16 percent to 22 percent. Coal has not changed significantly since 1971, though there were major fluctuations in the intervening decades. Nuclear energy has increased from half a percentage point to just below 5 percent.

This article is just a small overview of the entire state of world energy balances and you can take a look at the comprehensive report to learn more information and view helpful graphs.