South Korea ranked seventh in consumption of primary energy last year, trailing behind massive countries like China, the United States, India, Japan, Russia, and Canada, due to its reliance on power-consuming manufacturing of steel, petrochemical, and semiconductors.
The country of a population of 50 million consumed 534 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, seventh on the global scale of Europe-based statistics and research firm Enerdata on Tuesday, growing 2.3 percent against 2016 and keeping up the biggest annual growth among industrialized group.
China remained the biggest consumer in primary energy, consuming total 5,683 TWh last year. The U.S ranked the second with 3,808 TWh, followed by India with 1,156 TWh and Japan 1,019 TWh. Russia consumed 889 TWh of electric power and Canada 572 TWh.
Its rank in power usage moved up steadily from ninth in 2015 to eight in 2016 then onto seventh last year.
The on-year gain averaged 4.3 percent for the past 17 years since 2000, which is the second-fastest among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members after Turkey with 5.5 percent.
Experts attributed the sharp growth in Korea’s electricity consumption to the manufacturers such as steel making, petrochemical, and semiconductors with heavy electricity use comprising the large portion of its economy. Residential and commercial electricity consumption has grown moderately over the last decade. Still the industrial sector was accountable for 56 percent of power consumption last year.
By Ko Jae-man and Cho Jeehyun
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