Last week I did not finish the story, to prevent an overload of information. However, both graphs were available (by clicking the different screenshots), so it was possible to investigate them oneself. Now it is time for some guidance for readers who prefer to read a story, rather than manipulating the graphs themselves.
Although the screenshots will be clickable again, first the links for the two graphs (country totals for the energy-mix and the values for the same countries per capita) are presented: all and per capita
The first picture is a combination of two screenshots from the same graph. In the top-half we see the Germany “building” for 1995 (within the red circle). The width represents the part of nuclear energy (absolute value in PJ) and the height is the amount of renewables (the green part being the bio-energy component).
The bottom half of the picture shows Germany again, but now for 2015 (again in a red circle). This time the building is much narrower, indicating an enormous reduction of the nuclear energy. It’s the impact of the “Energiewende”. At the same time, the building is much higher than in 1995 because of the increase of renewable energy. The green roof is really thick so the majority of those renewables are still biofuels and not wind or solar (found in the yellow part underneath).
If we turn the graph to see the side of the 2015 buildings, it becomes clear that most of the energy-consumption in Germany is still fossil-based. Only for France, showing more or less a square building, fossil and nuclear are about the same. See screenshot below.
A better way to compare all countries in the graph – when looking at the usage of fossil energy – is to take the top-view. In the real 3D-graph the names of the countries are in front of the lanes and easily checked, but because this is only a fixed screenshot the names were put in manually.
This top-view shows us that the fossil consumption of Germany and the UK is higher than for France and for Italy it is really small (we already know Italy doesn’t have any nuclear energy of itself at all). At the same time we know that France uses about twice the amount of nuclear energy of Germany and the UK taken together. That’s why France has very low carbon-emissions!
The – absolute – amount of nuclear energy consumed by France is more than a half the nuclear consumption of the USA, although the latter has a much larger population! The shape of the USA-building resembles the shape of the one for Germany because the ratio of fossil to nuclear is very similar (in spite of the “Energiewende”). The People’s Republic of China consumes more ore less the same amount of fossil fuels as the USA (in 2010 it was less, but in 2015 it was already about 30% more than the USA), but its population is at least three times as large. And India, with a population that is also over one billion, still consumes less than half of the USA-amount of fossils. It’s time to switch to the “per capita” graphs, showing us the average consumption of an individual in every country. This won’t change the shape of the buildings as the mix of fossil, nuclear and renewables will remain the same, but the relative sizes of the buildings will be different after all!
The first screenshot of the “per capita” version shows the legend clearly at the front of the graph. The values are the same as the previous ones for the countries, but divided by their population for the year of consumption. Suddenly the USA is not very different from Germany or the UK, but both China and India are hardly visible any more. They have a very large number of inhabitants, but the energy-consumption of the average individual is much lower than in Europe or the USA.
An oblique top-view illustrates even more clearly that the average inhabitant of France consumes more nuclear energy than the average American from the USA. And although France was good at renewable energy in 1995, the USA was doing better!
Moving from the side to the front, we can see in 2015 individuals in Italy and Germany are on top when it comes to renewable energy and for Italy it’s even about 50% of non-bio&waste (yellow part of the height – e.g. hydro, wind, solar). In this graph the most interesting part is not the comparison between countries, but the change in the mix over the years!
(To manipulate the graph there are several options: clicking the right mouse-button, moving the mouse up and down will zoom the graph in and out. Clicking left and moving the mouse will tilt the graph in different directions (or move the observer’s viewpoint around a fixed graph – it’s relative of course). Double clicking in the graph translates it and moves the centre at the same time. As a result the way the graph tilts will change. Just try it. If you don’t know how to get the normal position back, just refresh the graph.)
We would really like to have more partnerships with Universities (including Universities of Applied Sciences) to let students explore the possibilities of the generator and come up with new applications we didn’t think off ourselves. We are convinced that the addition of a (meaningful) third dimension in visualisation adds a lot of value, because the human eye is a powerful instrument when it comes to pattern-recognition!