What’s happened to our Energy Sources over the past 30 years?

Checking out the information form the US Energy Information Administration can be informative in learning about the current trends in energy consumption. Being able to track large trends in changing energy consumption can provide insight into what the future will hold in terms of energy.

Comparing the data from the US Energy Information Administration from 1980 and 2010 shows total consumption rising 25%. During this same period, the US GDP grew approximately 120%, according to the CIA World Factbook. Breaking energy consumption down categorically in terms of Fossil Fuels, Nuclear Electric Power, and Renewable Energy can help us understand the trend in what is changing in terms of energy consumption. Generally, Fossil Fuels Production has been stagnant and sits at a slightly lower level than 1980 figures. On the other had, both Nuclear Electric Power and Renewable Energy have experienced significant growth. In the case of nuclear production, there has been an increase of over 200%, while renewable energy has experienced a 48.4% growth. Clearly the future of renewable energy is bright and should continue to grow into a larger source of energy production.

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So how does the US stack up with other countries in World Electricity Generation? As a percentage of total net generation, the US renewable energy production accounts for 9.53% according to the most recent data from the US Energy Information Administration. By comparison, Europe as a whole has 22.32% of its energy from renewable sources. These are a far cry from Scandinavian countries such as Norway or Iceland, where renewable sources make up nearly all of its total net generation.

Aside from renewable sources, coal is an interesting energy source to look at comparisons across countries. According to World Coal Statistics, CO2 emissions from coal consumption in the US are about 52.56% higher than Europe’s similar measure. Looking back at the percentage of energy renewable sources accounts for, it is noticeable that the lower reliance on renewable sources correlates with the higher emissions from coal consumption. In the US particularly, Texas and Ohio stand out as leaders in coal producers according to the energy production report by state released by the US Energy Information Administration. How this will change over the next 30 years will be a make a major impact on the energy sources in the US.


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