According to Wikipedia an average lightning has 1TW, the whole world used 16TW in 2006. (I suppose this means the same as 16TWh in one year?) Sometimes the lightning reaches 100kA. This peak last for 30 microseconds. Does this mean that you get 100TW in 30 microseconds, and this is enough to power a 100 watts lightning bulb for two months, and that if the lightning lasted for about 1/6th of a year, it would have provided enough energy for the whole world?
You are confused about units. Watt is a unit of power (energy/time), Watt-hour is a unit of energy. 16TW is an estimate of the continuous average power usage of the world - which is about 140,000 TWh each year. If the lightning has a peak power of 1TW for 30 microseconds, this corresponds to an energy content of about 8000 Watt-hours.
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protected by Qmechanic♦ May 16 at 13:43
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