Energy supply by source in countries from different parts of the world

PHYS291 Project
Nora Grebstad

Project Description
In this project I will use data from International Energy Agency, and present the numbers in plots and simulations using root. I will show the development in the total worldwide energy supply since 1990, and show the growth of the most common energy sources since then. I will also make a program that lets you choose between a few large countries, and present the energy supply graph for each country. In the conclusion I will reflect on what has affected the changes, and what the difference between the countries are caused by.

The most common sources of big scale energy today are oil, coal, natural gas, biofuels, waste, nuclear reactions, hydropower and renewable sources such as wind and solar radiation. The more traditional sources are oil, coal and gas. Since scientists found that these sources are large contributors to global warming due to emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, the search for other more sustainable sources of energy began. Due to economic, political, geographical and other reasons, the energy supply from the different sources vary a lot for the different parts of the world. I have chosen to show the energy supply for the countries Norway, South Africa, France, Brazil and The World.

Program Description
I made the program energysupply.C. The program takes in text files containing data about the energy supply from the different sources and plots the numbers in one figure. You have to insert the data file you want to plot, and adjust the upper and lower limits of the multigraph. The data files can be found here, and the code can be found here. To make it easier to plot the data for the country or region you wish, I made a program button.C, which displays the different alternatives you have, and plots for the one you click on.


The graphs for worldwide energy supply show that the dominating sources are the ones that have been used for the longest time, coal, oil and natural gas. These are also the sources with the steepest growth rates during the period. This is because of the increase in energy demand in the world, which is a product of an increasing population and more advanced technology, requiring larger amounts of energy.

The graphs for Norway show that the main sources of energy are hydropower and oil. The topography and large amounts of rainfall here facilitates us to extract great amounts of energy from the hydropower. It has been discovered large amounts of petroleum on the Norwegian shelf, making petroleum an important energy source.

South Africa is a country highly dependent on coal as a source of energy. Because of the low cost of mining and producing, coal is vital for the economy, employment and energy supply of South Africa. In lack of other affordable sources and an increasing energy demand, this source has been growing relatively steadily.

In France, the energy supply is dominated by nuclear power and oil. Many of the greatest nuclear scientists in the world came from France, which caused a higher development of the technology in this area. Politics and geography have also played roles in nuclear power becoming the main source of energy in the country. The country is not very likely to be affected by natural catastrophes, which are a big threat to nuclear power plants. Oil on the other hand, is largely imported from the Asian continent.

The main sources of energy in Brazil are oil and biofuels. The reason for oil being the greatest source, is the monopoly on oil of several government-owned companies, and also the great sizes of the reserves outside the coast of Brazil. Brazil is the world’s second largest producer of ethanol fuel, which is a biofuel. The advanced technology in agriculture and their “sugarcane-based ethanol fuel program” is the reason for the fuel being such an important source of energy.

As can be seen from the differences between the countries: politics, topography, geography, technology and economy are important factors when it comes to sources of energy supply in a country or region. The worldwide increase in energy supply, mainly by fossil fuels, comes from the steep increase in population, but also from the rapidly developing technology. This requires more energy supply in the world, to keep up with the technology.

This course has taught me a lot about data handling in physics, considering that I have never worked with Linux, the software ROOT or the programming language C++. It has been an interesting course, with high degree of independence, which I think is the best way to learn a new language. ROOT is a great tool for processing and displaying numbers and data. C++ was a very easy program to learn, and the tutorials provided by the lecturers were very helpful.

I will definitely find this course very useful in future projects. Lastly, I want to thank the skilled and patient lecturers, for giving me all the extra time and providing me with help to complete the project. I really appreciate that.