almost doubled, corresponding to an annual growth rate of 5.1 percent. This is virtually identical with the estimated growth rate of world gross national product (GNP) during the period.1 (It should not be inferred from this that energy consumption and GNP necessarily move proportionately; their relation is discussed in chapter 2.)
In terms of the composition of world energy consumption and production, the most rapidly growing category was nuclear power, of which there was virtually none in 1960. Even in 1973, however, nuclear power supplied less than 1 percent of the world’s energy. Apart from this category, whose importance lies in the future, the most rapid growth was in natural gas and petroleum, both of which grew at annual rates of nearly 8 percent. Hydroelectric power, which includes a small amount of geothermal power, increased about 5 percent/yr. World coal production and consumption were virtually stagnant, with an annual growth rate below 1 percent. Reflecting these changes, the share of petroleum in world energy consumption increased from 34 percent in 1960 to 47 percent in 1973, and that of natural gas from 14 percent to 19 percent in the same period. The share of coal dropped from 47 percent to 28 percent, while that of hydroelectric power remained unchanged at 5 percent.
The growth rates of production and consumption of different fuels varied greatly among regions. Only in the United States did consumption grow fairly uniformly, with the share of coal falling and the share of all other fuels rising. For other regions the consumption of petroleum and natural gas rose much faster than that of total energy. The 22 percent growth rate of natural gas in Western Europe is especially remarkable; this was almost entirely at the expense of coal, the consumption of which actually declined. In Western Europe the share of petroleum in total energy consumption rose from 34 percent in 1960 to 61 percent in 1973, while that of natural gas increased from almost nothing to nearly 11 percent; coal dropped from 56 percent to 20 percent.
These drastic changes in consumption patterns were accompanied by no less dramatic changes in the regional patterns of production. In some places these changes complemented one another; for example, natural gas production in Western Europe increased about as much as natural gas consumption there, while coal production fell about as much as coal consumption. In the United States the situation with respect to these two fuels was similar. Neither in the United States nor in Western Europe, however, was there a sufficient increase in petroleum production to match the increase in demand. U.S. crude oil production rose at an average rate of less than 2 percent/yr between 1960 and 1973. (Actually, production reached a peak in 1970 and declined thereafter.) European and Japanese petroleum production remained small, so the sharp rise in demand had to be met entirely from the rest of the world. In the communist countries,