|Natural resources are the energy we need to exist in the modern developed and developing world and provide us with the fuel that enables us to stay warm or cool down and also the resources we require to operate the world's industries, transport networks and agricultural machinery. We live in a society that demands high consumption of energy although some countries use a great deal more energy and natural resource than others. Oil, coal and gas are by far the most consumed energy resources on earth and account for more than 80% of total world energy consumption. North America, Asia, Europe and the former Soviet Union consume the highest energy levels on the planet.|
Since the colonisation of many of the African nations by Europeans, developing countries have not only discovered that they are sitting on valuable natural resources, but have also been given the education needed in order to successfully exploit their energy reserves effectively. Gradually finite energy supplies like coal and oil will disappear and we will have to look at ways of exploiting renewable resources such as hydroelectric and solar power more effectively.
Canada, USA, Brazil, China, Russia, Norway, Japan, India, Sweden and France are the world's largest producers of hydroelectricity. The larger countries are not really reliant on this source of renewable energy as they are heavily industrialised and require large amounts of fossil fuels. Smaller countries are more dependent on hydroelectricity as they are less industrialised.
Developing countries export far greater amounts of fuels than their western counterparts. Some African countries produce up to 75% of their total exports in fuels. Asia Pacific, North America and the former Soviet Union posses the largest coal reserves in the world whereas the Middle East has vast quantities of oil and gas reserves. The former Soviet Union also produces a high proportion of the world's gas supply.