# How much energy is in a lightning strike?

According to Wikipedia an average lightning strike has $1$ TW power, the whole world used $16$ TW of power in 2006.

The lightning strike lasts for $30$ microseconds. Does this mean that you get $100$ TW of energy in just $30$ microseconds?

• According to Doc Brown (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Back_to_the_Future), the energy contained is at least 1.21 gigawatts ;) – akid Jan 5 '12 at 8:10
• @akid: Jiggawatts is a measure of power, not energy. – endolith Jan 5 '12 at 21:27
• Right! The linked wikipedia article states 1.2 GW energy though, and I'm not sure if it's actually wrong there or just citing a non-physical statement from the movie. – akid Jan 6 '12 at 9:05
• related: Can energy be extracted from clouds?. – David Cary Jun 1 '12 at 16:16
• People are joking and this is not an answer to the question. – Nikolaj-K Jun 1 '12 at 18:18