Central And South America

Understanding energy end uses

To get an accurate picture of energy efficiency in a country, it is important to first look at how and where energy is being used. Total final consumption (TFC) is the energy consumed by end users such as individuals and businesses to heat and cool buildings, to run lights, devices, and appliances, and to power vehicles, machines and factories.

Energy intensity of the economy

One way of looking at the overall energy efficiency of a region is to measure the total energy supply per unit of economic output (here adjusted for purchasing power parity). This reflects not only energy efficiency but also the structure of the economy, with services-oriented economies generally having a lower energy intensity than those based on heavy industry.

Residential energy use by source

In most countries, heating and cooling make up the largest share of energy use in homes. While air conditioners, appliances and lights generally run on electricity, fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil, coal and wood are still widely used for heating and cooking. Electrifying these end uses, for example by replacing fossil fuel boilers with efficient electric heat pumps, will be important for reducing CO2 emissions.

Transport energy use by source

In most regions, transport energy use is dominated by oil used to fuel passenger cars, trucks and airplanes. Electrification of the transport sector, for example through the widespread rollout of EVs, is an important strategy for reducing CO2 emissions.

Industrial energy use by source

Industrial energy sources can vary considerably between regions depending on the structure of their economies. Many industrial processes, including steelmaking, cement and chemicals, still require fossil fuels for high-temperature heat or as feedstocks.

Services energy use by source

The services sector tends to be much less energy intensive than industry, with the largest share of energy in most countries being used to heat and cool buildings. The shift from an economic structure based on heavy industry to one based on services has historically been a driver of falling energy intensity of advanced economies.