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Rescooped by Gilbert Faure au nom de l'ASSIM from Geography Education!

Scandinavian Energy Usage

Scandinavian Energy Usage | Notebook |

Which countries consume the most electricity per person? You might guess the United States would top the World Bank’s list, but the Nordic countries of Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden are actually at or near the top. 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, with an average consumption of 13,246 kilowatt hours per person. The Japanese consume 7,848 kilowatt hours.

This image is part of a global composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite in 2012. The nighttime view of Earth was made possible by the “day-night band” of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite. VIIRS detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, wildfires, and gas flares. The city lights of several major Nordic cities are visible in the imagery, including Stockholm, Sweden (population 905,184); Oslo, Norway (634,463); Helsinki, Finland (614,074), and Reykjavik, Iceland (121,490).

Tags: Europe, energy, remote sensing, development, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway.

Via Seth Dixon
Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 18, 5:59 PM

It is not surprising to me that these countries, or any country that resides in a high latitude area, have high usage of electricity.  The combination of extreme cold temperatures and times of meager amounts of daylight equal high uses of energy.  High populations of these areas tend to be around the coast as well, so these areas have to work extra hard to keep people warm, fed, etc.  If people were more spread out, the usage might not be as high. 

Lena Minassian's curator insight, February 18, 7:17 PM

This articles discusses which countries use the most electricity and believe it or not, the Nordic countries are at the top of the list. It shows two satellite images in the nighttime for you to get a better visual as to which areas of these countries use the most electricity. There are multiple factors that go into these countries consuming this much energy. One factor that is interesting is the high demand for electricity because of the long winters in these countries. 

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 9:34 AM

These images are really interesting and expose just how much electricity the Scandinavian countries actually use. It is surprising to think of these nations as large energy consumers because of their general reputation as progressive, clean, and liberal places. This brief article is an excellent example of how maps and satellite images can be misleading, though. As opposed to places like the U.S. or China, energy consumption in the Scandinavian countries actually produces only small amounts of greenhouse gases and is based on renewable energy sources. 


This shows an interesting and not immediately apparent geographic distinction between the Scandinavian countries and places such as China and the U.S. Chinese and United States energy consumption is enormous because of those countries' ability and desire to produce large amounts of goods quickly. Household energy use is also high because of the widespread use of electronics such as televisions, computers, and appliances. The Scandinavian countries, on the other hand, have a need for increased energy use because of their geographic location: long, dark winters mean an increased need for electricity and for longer periods. Also, Scandinavia is able to produce energy at lower costs due to its use of renewable energy sources. So though those countries may consume much more energy than their non-Scandinavian counterparts, they are doing so responsibly and for a reason. 

Rescooped by Gilbert Faure au nom de l'ASSIM from SCUP Links!

Drowning in Light: The cheaper it gets the more of it we use

Drowning in Light: The cheaper it gets the more of it we use | Notebook |

"In 1996, Yale economist William D. Nordhaus calculated that the average citizen of Babylon would have had to work a total of 41 hours to buy enough lamp oil to equal a 75-watt light bulb burning for one hour. At the time of the American Revolution, a colonial would have been able to purchase the same amount of light, in the form of candles, for about five hour’s worth of work. And by 1992, the average American, using compact fluorescents, could earn the same amount of light in less than one second. That sounds like a great deal."

Via Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s curator insight, March 24, 2014 2:15 PM

And the cheaper light gets, the more light we use. Maybe that's a good thing for higher education:

Many of the first treatises denying the existence of ghosts and witches came from larger cities in the Netherlands and England, which featured some of the earliest and most extensive street lighting in Europe.