Countries That Rely the Most on Coal for Energy Production per Capita

Fossil fuels are a nonrenewable energy source and cause a lot of damage to our planet, through both their extraction and burning them for energy production. Many countries around the world rely on coal as an energy source, although more than 40 countries recently pledged to phase out coal in the coming decades. They believe that coal power generation is the biggest cause of temperatures increasing around the globe. It’s important that more countries around the world join this pledge to rely less on coal and other fossil fuels and instead turn to more Earth-friendly sources of energy like wind or solar power.

Which countries rely the most on coal for energy production? How about on a per-capita basis? Using 2019 energy consumption per-capita data from Our World in Data based on the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, we ranked more than 70 countries on the amount of coal-generated power used per person in a year. This Solar Power Guide analysis also includes the percentage of total primary energy that is generated by coal power. The total primary energy is the amount of energy that is produced from different types of fossil fuels, like coal, oil, and gas; non-renewable energy sources like nuclear power; and renewable energy sources such as hydro, wind, solar, and others. The world average is 5,684.76 kilowatt-hours of coal energy used per capita, although some of the countries on the list far exceeded this worldwide average. Where does your country fall on this list of those that rely the most on coal energy?

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Which Country Relies the Most on Coal for Energy Production per Capita?

Estonia relies the most on coal for energy production, with 29,526.29 kilowatt-hours of coal-generated power consumed per capita annually. Coal energy accounts for 59.23% of Estonia’s total primary energy supply, the second highest on our list of countries. The new Estonian government has announced plans to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, and starting in 2030, Estonia will be required to reduce emissions rather than just contain their growth.

The 10 Countries With the Most Coal-Generated Power Consumed per Capita
  1. Estonia: 29,526.29 kWh
  2. Kazakhstan: 25,034.88 kWh
  3. Australia: 19,652.77 kWh
  4. Taiwan: 19,050.94 kWh
  5. South Korea: 18,634.12 kWh
  6. South Africa: 18,091.31 kWh
  7. China: 15,823.49 kWh
  8. Czechia: 15,699.34 kWh
  9. Poland: 14,006.40 kWh
  10. Japan: 10,740.67 kWh

Which Country Relies the Least on Coal for Energy Production?

Through our analysis, we found that Ecuador, Iraq, Qatar, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turkmenistan did not generate any of their primary power from coal in 2019. Azerbaijan was found to have the lowest amount of coal used for energy production of countries that did use coal, with just 1.43 kWh generated per capita. Only 20 countries on the list had less than 1,000 kWh of coal-generated power used per capita.

Which Countries Use Coal for Most of Their Energy Production?

Although many countries around the world are trying to lower their reliance on coal as an energy source, some still rely on it heavily for their energy supply. Coal accounts for more than half of the total primary energy supply consumed per capita for the following countries:

  • South Africa: 70.66%
  • Estonia: 59.23%
  • China: 57.68%
  • India: 54.68%
  • Kazakhstan: 53.94%
  • Vietnam: 50.25%

How can we lower our reliance on nonrenewable energy sources that continue to do irreparable damage to the planet? Switching to renewable energy sources is the easiest way to start, and you can even make a difference by making the switch to a renewable energy source like solar power in your own home!

Written and designed by Joe Robertson