Primary energy carriers

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Content – Energy sources

 


 
Illustration of sources of primary energy
 

Sources of energy – Primary energy

Primary energy or sources of energy are found in nature and has not been subject to conversion or transformation.

The first law of thermodynamics state, “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed”

Energy can only be converted or transformed.
 
For more data on global energy consumption, energy production and emissions view our charts:
Primary energy consumption
Primary energy production
Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy carriers

Energy carriers are transformed from primary energy or primary sources of energy and contain energy that can be converted to other forms such as mechanical work, heat or to operate chemical or physical processes. An energy carrier is a transmitter of energy.

Primary energyConversionEnergy carrier
Crude oilRefineryFuel (oil, gasoline, etc)
Natural gasPower plantElctricity, enthalphy (fuel)
CoalPower plantElctricity, enthalphy
Natural uraniumPower plantElectricity
Solar energyPowerplant (photovoltaic),

Powerplant (thermal)

Electricity
Enthalphy
Wind energyPowerplant (wind turbines)Electricity
Tidal energyPower plant (hydro turbines)Electricity
Other water in motion (rivers, waterfalls)Power plant (hydro turbines)Electricity
BiomassPower plantElectricity, enthalphy
Geothermal energyPower plant (steam turbines)Electricity, enthalphy
Earth magnetic fieldNo practical applications
LighteningNo practical use

Note 1: There are various, slightly differentiating definitions of primary energy and secondary energy (energy sources) representing various scientific views, preferences and interpretations.
Note 2: There are many more examples of common energy carriers including: Springs, batteries, capacitors, water magazines, hydrogen and wood.
 

Annual global primary energy consumption.

(click on chart to view larger version)

 

Annual growth global primary energy consumption.

Chart providing data for annual growth in global primary energy consumption
MTOE – Million tonnes oil equivalent
Data source
BP Statistical Review of World Energy (www.bp.com)

 
For more data on global energy consumption, energy production and emissions view our charts:
Primary energy consumption
Primary energy production
Carbon dioxide emissions