The world's biggest energy producers

Ralph Hettler | E+ | Getty Images

Modern society is dependent on a reliable, abundant supply of energy. As our populations and cities get bigger, that demand is only set to grow: the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that by 2040 global energy consumption will have increased by 56 percent.

Here, CNBC takes a look at the world's biggest producers of crude oil, nuclear and hydro energy, according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Key World Energy Statistics for 2014.

By Anmar Frangoul, special to CNBC.com

Saudi Arabia: 540mt in 2013
MyLoupe | UIG | Getty Images

The IEA named Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest producer of crude oil. According to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Saudi Arabia, "possesses 18 percent of the world's proven petroleum reserves," with the oil and gas sector contributing 50 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).

Vast amounts of oil were discovered near the Arabian Gulf in 1938, and Saudi Arabia's abundant reserves have led to wealth, low petrol prices and influence in times of geopolitical instability, such as the 2003 invasion of Iraq.


Russian Federation: 525mt in 2013
Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The world's largest country by area, Russia is the second-largest producer of crude oil after Saudi Arabia, producing 12.8 percent of the planet's crude oil in 2013 according to the IEA.

In January 2013, the Oil and Gas Journal reported that Russia had 80 billion barrels of proven reserves. The Samotlor Field (pictured), located in Nizhnevartovsk, produced 130.8 million barrels of crude oil in 2012, according to state-controlled energy company Rosneft's most recent figures. Samotlor is one of Russia's largest oil fields, and one of the ten biggest in the world.


United States: 440mt in 2013
Ralph Hettler | E+ | Getty Images

According to the U.S. EIA, there are 30.53 billion barrels of proven oil reserves in the United States. While currently ranked third in terms of oil production, the United States is ramping up its output.

The EIA said crude oil production in August this year was, "an estimated 8.6 million barrels per day… the highest monthly production since July 1986." The shale boom has helped increase supply, and total crude oil production is expected to reach an average of 9.5 million barrels per day.


United States: 801 TWh
Image Source | Image Source | Getty Images

The United States is home to 62 commercially operating nuclear power plants across 31 states, and produced 801 terawatt hours of nuclear electricity in 2012, according to the IEA - roughly a third of the world's total output.


France: 425 TWh
Pete Turner | The Image Bank | Getty Images

France relies heavily on nuclear power to maintain its energy security. Currently, more than 75 percent of French electricity is generated from nuclear power plants, according to the World Nuclear Association, and in 2012, 425 terawatt hours of electricity were generated by nuclear power in the country.


Russian Federation: 178 TWh
Anadolu | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

In 1954, the Obninsk reactor – around 60 miles south west of Moscow – became the world's first nuclear power plant to be connected to an electricity grid.

Since then Russia has gone on to become one of the world's biggest producers of nuclear electricity, with 178 terawatt hours generated in 2012.


People's Republic of China: 872 TWh
ChinaFotoPress| ChinaFotoPress | Getty Images

Hydropower is a renewable source of energy generated by moving water, and China - despite its hunger for fossil fuels - is the world's leading producer of hydroelectricity.

Vast, imposing structures such as the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River – the world's largest hydroelectric power station when ranked by capacity – helped China generate 872 terawatt hours of electricity in 2012.

This amounted to 23.2 percent of the world's total hydroelectric output, according to the IEA.

Brazil: 415 TWh
Cassio Vasconcellos | SambaPhoto | Getty Images

According to the U.S. EIA, over 75 percent of Brazilian electricity is generated by hydropower.

In 2012, Brazil generated 415 terawatt hours of hydroelectricity, while the vast Itaipu dam complex, a joint project by Brazil and Paraguay, has generated 2,135 terawatt hours of electricity since it became operational in 1984.

Canada: 381 TWh
Yves Marcoux | First Light | Getty Images

The second-largest country in the world by area, Canada, has an abundance of hydropower resources, with some dams over 100 years old, according to the Canadian Hydropower Association (CHA).

CHA states that hydro accounts for 60 percent of Canada's electricity production, with 125 billion Canadian dollars ($111.6 billion) to be invested into the sector over the next 20 years.

The Daniel-Johnson dam, in the Manicouagan valley, Québec, is described by Hydro Québec as, "the highest multiple-arch-and-buttress dam in the world."