Americans consuming more fossil fuels

A new report from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory shows that Americans are consuming more power than ever.

A new report from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory shows that Americans are consuming more power than ever.

After hitting a 12 year low in 2009, American energy use has gone back up, particularly use of fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and petroleum.

A report from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said renewable energy use remained at a flat level from 2009 to 2010. Though Americans got more energy from wind power, that growth was offset by a drop in hydroelectric generation.

The United States used 98 quadrillion BTUs (British Thermal Units) of energy in 2010, the Lab said, up from 94.6 “quads” in 2009.

To understand where windpower fits in that picture, U.S. generation by wind was 0.92 quads in 2010. That works out to less than 1 percent of total U.S. energy used that year.

Still, wind energy use rose from 0.7 quads in 2009.

“We are still seeing the capacity additions from a wind energy boom come online,” said A.J. Simon, an energy systems analyst at Livermore Lab.

More cars and trucks are using ethanol, too, said Simon.

Most U.S. energy use -- 39.49 quads, or 40 percent -- was for electricity generation, and most of that power came from coal. Nuclear power and natural gas were the second and third biggest sources. Natural gas, which has recently had pretty low prices, has been making gains over the past six years, growing 25 percent as a source of electricity generation.

Read more in the San Francisco Business Times.

Comments

If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.