Here are some of the most useful links to energy data on the web.
All the links shown provide free information (although some also offer subscription content).
One of the first difficulties in understanding energy information is the wide variety of units that are used. A good guide to the different systems in use is given by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), whose Energy Units and Calculators page is a great guide to the subject. The International Energy Agency (IEA) also has a very useful Units Converter.
The IEA is the richest single source of energy information on the web. The statistical pages have lots of detailed information on energy consumption in practically any country in the world, and there are plenty of free reports on specific energy topics (although the most recent are usually not free, and the free statistics don’t include the most recent years). The IEA publishes a World Energy Outlook every year, which is one of the most authoritative global energy outlooks – the latest one is not free, but the previous year’s is.
The IEA has recently introduced some great graphics which allow you to visualize energy statistics. Try, for example, their map of global CO2 emissions.
A more condensed source of statistics is the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. BP has been putting a lot of effort into its Stats Review in recent years, and it is now the most accessible single source for historical energy data by country (not every country, however: there is some aggregation of the less significant data. BP’s review originally only covered oil and gas, but now includes coal, electricity and renewables together with condensed energy balance data and information on prices and CO2 emissions. In recent years BP has also been putting out some energy forecasts and although they are very high-level, they are worth comparing with other forecasts such as the IEA and EIA.
For a potted summary of world energy statistics the IEA’s free download of Key World Energy Statistics is excellent.
BP’s Statistical Review provides historical price information, focusing as you might expect, on fossil fuel prices, but only on a historical annual basis. For day-to-day prices of traded commodities such as crude oil or gas prices, the Financial Times is a useful source.
The most comprehensive long-term sources of forecasts of future energy consumption and prices are provided by the IEA and the EIA in their World Energy Outlook and Annual Energy Outlook, respectively. As would be expected, the EIA is much more US-focused, but has international data also.
Recently, BP has been publishing its own Energy Outlook, which provides the company’s view of how global energy production and consumption will develop.
There is a wide choice of blogs and new sites on energy. One of our favourites is the Energy Collective, though this is largely US-focused. For a European focus, the Energy Post carries frequent insightful articles on a wide range of energy topics.
For specific analysis of topical issues, with free downloads of research on a range of energy topics, the Oxford Energy Institute has a wealth of interesting material.