Icelanders Consume Most Electricity - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelanders Consume Most Electricity

Published October 8, 2014

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photos by
nasa.gov

Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden consume the most electricity per person in the world, and Icelanders most of all, reports NASA.

Icelanders consume an average of 52,374 kilowatt hours per person per year, Norwegians 23,174 kilowatt hours, Finns 15,738 kilowatt hours, and Swedes 14,030 kilowatt hours.

Americans are not far behind in fifth place with an average consumption of 13,246 kilowatt hours per person. The Japanese consume 7,848 kilowatt hours.

A number of factors are responsible for the high rates of electricity consumption in Nordic countries.

The presence of energy-intensive industries, abundant natural resources that make electricity production affordable, and high demand caused by the region’s long, cold, and dark winters.

Iceland’s three aluminium smelting plants are especially power hungry and the biggest electricity consumers in the country.

nordic countries electricity nasa

Although they don’t shine noticeably bright in the satellite image, don’t be fooled. Together the smelting plants use more than five times as much electricity as all of the country’s inhabitants.

It’s not all bad though, despite the high rates of consumption, the production of electricity in Nordic countries is based mainly on renewable energy sources and yields minimal amounts of greenhouse gases.

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