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Energy Table

Introduction

It is a generational challenge to meet the world’s energy requirements, while remaining within the bounds of acceptable costs and environmental impacts. To this end, substantial research has explored various energy futures on a global scale, leaving decision-makers and the public overwhelmed by information on energy options.

This interactive energy table was developed as a comprehensive resource through which users can explore the availability, scalability, costs and growth potentials of many energy sources and technologies currently in use or development. Energy sources include coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, solar, wind, hydropower, ocean, geothermal and biomass. Each cell in the table provides data from recent peer reviewed publications and major institutional reports (such as the International Energy Administration), with full references provided. Additional information is available on technology costs, technical considerations, imminent breakthroughs, obstacles to integration, as well as political, social, and environmental considerations.

Open Energy Table

Table Features

Example Use Case

Let’s say you’re curious about the future of wind energy.

Scroll down to the green rows labeled Wind Energy, or select ‘Wind’ in the top-left ‘Energy Sources’ drop-down menu to view data on wind energy:

  • What is the installed capacity of wind energy?
  • As of 2013, 283 GW of wind energy was installed.

  • How is that energy derived?
  • Wind energy is produced through onshore and offshore turbines - with onshore turbines producing the majority of energy (278 GW).

  • What is the projected growth of wind energy?
  • Wind energy is projected to produce between 1,136 - 2,200 TWh/yr in 2020. Globally, wind energy is projected to increase 4-12 fold by 2030.

  • What is the capacity factor (or the percentage of time power plants are producing power at full capacity) of wind energy?
  • In 2018, the capacity factor of wind energy is projected at 0.34 - 0.37 - so power plants will be running at full capacity around 35% of the time.

How does Wind compare to other technologies?

  • What is the installed capacity of wind energy vs. ocean energy?
  • Current wind capacity = 283 GW vs. Ocean = 0.53 GW.

  • Why is Ocean energy capacity so small by comparison?
  • By clicking on the ‘Ocean’ label, a menu all about Ocean energy pops out on the right side of the screen, allowing us to delve deeper into the development of Ocean energy. Currently ocean energy technology is almost exclusively in the stage of research and development, with no commercial market for it. But under ‘Political Considerations,’ we learn that there are more than 100 ocean technologies under development in over 30 countries!

Resources

Still have questions? Learn more by referring directly to source data, cited in every cell.
Comprehensive References List Conversion Table

Acknowledgements: 

The idea for a comprehensive total primary energy table was introduced by David Criswell at a 1998 AGCI workshop on carbon free energy at the terawatt scale (Workshop Information). This interactive table concept was developed by AGCI and brought to fruition by Steve Davis, Erin Delman and Geoff Bernd at the University of California at Irvine. Data has been updated in collaboration with Kaihui Song of the Ming Xu Lab at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability. Video resources are provided by Near Zero, the Caldeira Lab at Carnegie Institute for Global Ecology, and AGCI workshops.

Authors

University of California, Irvine

Steven J. Davis, Erin Delman, & Geoff Bernd,
Department of Earth System Science


University of Michigan, School for Environment and Sustainability

Ming Xu & Kaihui Song,
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Sponsor

Heising-Simons Foundation


Partners

Aspen Global Change Institute

University of California at Irvine

Near Zero

Carnegie Institute for Global Ecology


Concept Design

John Katzenberger, Aspen Global Change Institute

Table Development & Implementation

Seth Nickell, Near Zero
max.ink creative agency
ONGDesign