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Hannah Ritchie, Max Roser


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Geography, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus



Microsoft Excel

Year-to-Year Change in Primary Energy Consumption from Fossil Fuels vs. Low-Carbon Energy

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  • This resource includes an interactive chart and an interactive table through which students can examine the year-to-year change (beginning with data from 1966) in primary energy consumption between fossil fuels and low-carbon energy sources for countries around the world.
  • Each source's share of energy is based on the "substitution method" that accounts for the inefficiencies in fossil fuel production and is a better approximation of "final energy" consumption.
Teaching Tips


  • The interactive provides two different ways for students to explore data (chart and table). Within these two formats students can choose from a variety of options to focus in on specific aspects of the data.  
  • Students may choose to view datasets for specific countries and select the time range.
  • The resource includes links to several additional related graphs for students to explore.
  • The site explains how the data was collected.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There are multiple layers of data to explore and navigate. Teachers should familiarize themselves with the various capabilities of the interactive. For instance, the chart can be viewed as world data or by individual country data. Selecting the "play" arrow will move through the chart to show how the data has changed over time.
  • Because the interactive provides so many options for viewing the data, students may need to be provided with clear instructions as to which dataset they should explore and interact with.


  • This interactive could be used in a geography class as students explore energy use in different geographic regions or in a history course as students explore how energy consumption has changed over time.
  • This interactive also lends itself to exploring ratios and percentages, so it could be used during math lessons.
  • Students or small groups could be assigned a country and explore how the country's data compares to the world data.

Scientist Notes

Low-carbon energy (Nuclear+renewables) is compared with energy consumption from fossil fuels. Students can explore to understand energy consumption from the selected countries. The resource is valid and recommended for teaching.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.4.9-12 Analyze relationships and interactions within and between human and physical systems to explain reciprocal influences that occur among them.
  • Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
    • Expressions & Equations (6-8)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.8.EE.B.5 Graph proportional relationships, interpreting the unit rate as the slope of the graph. Compare two different proportional relationships represented in different ways. For example, compare a distance-time graph to a distance-time equation to determine which of two moving objects has greater speed.
    • Statistics & Probability: Making Inferences & Justifying Conclusions (9-12)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSS.IC.B.6 Evaluate reports based on data.
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