Discussion Assignment



After completing your Discussion Assignment, don't forget to log into Canvas and take the Module 2 Quiz. If you didn't answer the Learning Checkpoint questions, take a few minutes to complete them now. They will help your study for the quiz and you may even see a few of those question on the quiz!

Discussion Question


Compare energy consumption in the U.S. to that in other countries. Find the total per capita energy use for a country of your choosing. Is it more or less than that in the US? Is it growing at the same rate? Why might this be?


  • Find reliable sources of information on the internet
  • Communicate scientific ideas in language non-scientists can understand


Throughout this module, most of the facts and figures about energy have been for the United States. Of course, the entire world uses energy in varying capacities. Take a moment to take a look at what is happening outside the US. If you live in another country, or if your family is from another country, what is the energy situation there and how is it different from the US? Perhaps you have visited another country or heard something interesting about energy production or consumption elsewhere in the world.

As a starting point, go to the U.S. Energy Information Administration website and look at per capita energy consumption in the US vs. your country of choice between 1980 and 2015.  Use the DATA pull-down menu to select "Primary Energy Consumption" then click on the Time Series icon below the map.  Next, click on the Select Data icon and in the window that pops up, select Energy Intensity in item 2 and Population in item 4 and then click on View Data at the bottom of this window.  Then click on the Select Countries icon and another window will pop up -- here, click on All Countries and you will see a list of all the countries, then click View at the bottom of this window.  Scroll down below the graph and you will see a list of all the countries -- if you click on the graph icon to the right of a country, the data will appear on the graph; click on another country and its data will also appear.

If the above link does not work, try an alternative source, IEA Energy Atlas.Make sure that you select TPES/Population (which is tons of oil equivalent per person), then scroll down to the very bottom of the page, where you can make a graph that compares your country with the United States.

How does the per capita use in 2015 compare with the US and your country? How does the change in use from 1980 to 2015 compare? Given what you know about the country, what factors do you think might contribute to differences in energy use?

Next, find one fact about energy consumption or production in the country you have chosen that you think is especially interesting, and tell us why you think your country has this particular feature. For example, oil use may be increasing as industry grows in a developing nation. Or wind energy may be growing rapidly because you have a long and windy coastline. Maybe you live near a volcano and get all your power from geothermal energy.


Your discussion post should be 150-200 words and should include the name of the country you have chosen to research as well as numerical data comparing energy consumption in the US to that in your country of choice. Make sure the questions posed above are answered completely. Your original post must be submitted by Wednesday. In addition, you are required to comment on one of your peers' posts by Sunday. You can comment on as many posts as you like, but please make your first comment to a post that does not have any posts yet. Once you have an idea of what you want your post to be, go to the course discussion for your campus and create a new post.

Scoring Information and Rubric

The discussion post is worth a total of 20 points. The comment is worth an additional 5 points.

Scoring Rubric
Description Possible Points
states name of country and includes numerical data (with units!) for energy consumption in US and chosen country 5
compares current or recent usage (2010 is close enough) and change in usage (1980-2010) for US and country of choice 5
identifies at least one reason why energy use in chosen country might differ from that in US 5
includes one interesting fact about energy use or production that is particular to country of choice 5
well-reasoned comment on someone else's post 5