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Visualizing the Top Energy Priorities of Major Countries

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Energy priorities by country

Visualizing the Top Energy Priorities of Major Countries

As policy makers, business leaders, and academics gather at COP28 in Dubai this week, topics like climate change and the energy transition will be front and center.

Discussions and policy commitments on these issues are crucial. However, navigating the complexity of aligning policies for the future of energy can be challenging, given the multitude of sometimes conflicting priorities among nations.

Today’s visualization uses data from Ipsos, which details how 24,000 people in 28 countries feel about the top energy issues in their country.

Top Issue: Energy Security

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has propelled energy security to the forefront of concerns for many countries, particularly in Europe.

Directly impacted nations, including Germany, have had to reactivate coal production and extend the operational lives of nuclear power plants to ensure adequate heating during winter.

According to the Ipsos survey, achieving energy self-sufficiency, thereby reducing dependence on external sources, is the top energy priority for numerous countries, including the U.S., Canada, Italy, and France.

Country / Top PriorityEnergy Security Affordability Cleaner Energy Other
🇿🇦 South Africa44%33%33%21%
🇳🇴 Norway 42%28%25%20%
🇸🇪 Sweden 41%27%21%23%
🇵🇱 Poland 36%35%31%24%
🇮🇹 Italy36%32%31%20%
🇭🇺 Hungary35%30%30%26%
🇹🇷 Turkey35%28%33%23%
🇫🇷 France34%33%23%18%
🇺🇸 U.S.33%25%26%18%
🇲🇾 Malaysia 32%17%25%21%
🇨🇦 Canada 31%28%22%19%
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia25%21%22%16%

The survey reveals that even countries self-reliant on energy consider energy security the top priority.

Norway, for example, gets 96% of its energy by exploiting its offshore oil and gas fields and using hydroelectric power. The country even has a surplus of power, which it exports to other countries, such as the UK. Despite this, self-sufficiency remains a top priority in the minds of Norwegians.

Top Issue: Cleaner Energy

Following energy security, the second most critical priority is the development of cleaner energy sources like wind, solar, and hydrogen.

Country / Top PriorityEnergy Security Affordability Cleaner Energy Other
🇯🇵 Japan21%17%40%26%
🇦🇷 Argentina33%23%38%30%
🇳🇿 New Zealand34%33%36%21%
🇨🇱 Chile 30%25%35%24%
🇨🇴 Colombia 24%26%33%28%
🇵🇪 Peru22%22%31%25%
🇲🇽 Mexico 29%23%31%20%

This concern is the top pick in Japan and a high concern for other Asian economies such as South Korea and China. Today, the region accounts for 52% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Besides the environmental impact, clean energy development can have an economic impact. Recent studies have shown that doubling the share of renewables in the global energy mix could increase global GDP by up to 1.1% or $1.3 trillion.

Top Issue: Affordability of Energy

Reducing the cost of energy for consumers is the third most frequently mentioned concern. This is particularly emphasized in Belgium, Great Britain, and Germany, where prices are about double that of neighbors like France and Greece.

Country / Top PriorityEnergy Security Affordability Cleaner Energy Other
🇧🇪 Belgium33%43%17%21%
🇬🇧 Great Britain38%41%25%24%
🇦🇺 Australia31%37%23%18%
🇩🇪 Germany28%34%23%15%
🇳🇱 Netherlands 30%33%20%23%
🇪🇸 Spain 27%32%26%20%

For perspective, energy prices in many European countries are more than twice or three times the global average.

Less frequently mentioned energy priorities include:

  • Building more energy infrastructure.
  • Charging energy consumers more taxes for excessive use.
  • Ensuring Indigenous peoples benefit from major energy projects.

Reducing deforestation emerged as the top priority in Brazil, home to 60% of the Amazon rainforest. Recent data indicates that almost 20% of the forest has been destroyed since the 1970s.

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Energy

Charted: Global Uranium Reserves, by Country

We visualize the distribution of the world’s uranium reserves by country, with 3 countries accounting for more than half of total reserves.

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A cropped chart visualizing the distribution of the global uranium reserves, by country.

Charted: Global Uranium Reserves, by Country

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

There can be a tendency to believe that uranium deposits are scarce from the critical role it plays in generating nuclear energy, along with all the costs and consequences related to the field.

But uranium is actually fairly plentiful: it’s more abundant than gold and silver, for example, and about as present as tin in the Earth’s crust.

We visualize the distribution of the world’s uranium resources by country, as of 2021. Figures come from the World Nuclear Association, last updated on August 2023.

Ranked: Uranium Reserves By Country (2021)

Australia, Kazakhstan, and Canada have the largest shares of available uranium resources—accounting for more than 50% of total global reserves.

But within these three, Australia is the clear standout, with more than 1.7 million tonnes of uranium discovered (28% of the world’s reserves) currently. Its Olympic Dam mine, located about 600 kilometers north of Adelaide, is the the largest single deposit of uranium in the world—and also, interestingly, the fourth largest copper deposit.

Despite this, Australia is only the fourth biggest uranium producer currently, and ranks fifth for all-time uranium production.

CountryShare of Global
Reserves
Uranium Reserves (Tonnes)
🇦🇺 Australia28%1.7M
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan13%815K
🇨🇦 Canada10%589K
🇷🇺 Russia8%481K
🇳🇦 Namibia8%470K
🇿🇦 South Africa5%321K
🇧🇷 Brazil5%311K
🇳🇪 Niger5%277K
🇨🇳 China4%224K
🇲🇳 Mongolia2%145K
🇺🇿 Uzbekistan2%131K
🇺🇦 Ukraine2%107K
🌍 Rest of World9%524K
Total100%6M

Figures are rounded.

Outside the top three, Russia and Namibia both have roughly the same amount of uranium reserves: about 8% each, which works out to roughly 470,000 tonnes.

South Africa, Brazil, and Niger all have 5% each of the world’s total deposits as well.

China completes the top 10, with a 3% share of uranium reserves, or about 224,000 tonnes.

A caveat to this is that current data is based on known uranium reserves that are capable of being mined economically. The total amount of the world’s uranium is not known exactly—and new deposits can be found all the time. In fact the world’s known uranium reserves increased by about 25% in the last decade alone, thanks to better technology that improves exploration efforts.

Meanwhile, not all uranium deposits are equal. For example, in the aforementioned Olympic Dam, uranium is recovered as a byproduct of copper mining occurring at the same site. In South Africa, it emerges as a byproduct during treatment of ores in the gold mining process. Orebodies with high concentrations of two substances can increase margins, as costs can be shared for two different products.

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