This chart shows primary energy sources and where that energy is consumed for
the United States as a whole. The chart is expressed in terms of BTUs (British
Thermal Units)8 which is a measure of the heat value (energy content)
of fuels. The U.S. Department of Energy uses the measurement in this situation
to make an apples-to-apples comparison between five categories of energy
sources. For example, one pound of uranium will produce much more energy than
one pound of coal. So, to make sources of energy equivalent to one another for
this chart, each category is expressed in terms of the number of BTUs that it
produced in the United States during 2007.
Several conclusions can be drawn from studying the chart. We believe the three most significant conclsuions are as follows:
The largest supply of energy—Petroleum (39.3%)—is the largest source of energy (70%) for the second largest category of consumption—Transportation (28.5%)—in the United States. If we want to decrease our dependence on foreign oil, we need to: (a) produce more oil domestically; (b) develop more fuel-efficient forms of transportation; and (c) develop new and existing forms of alternative energy.
If it were not for the abundant domestic supply of coal—which supplies over one half of the fuel for electricity generation in the United States—we would be in much worse shape than we are already in.
Nuclear Power is used exclusively for Electric Power. Increasing our nuclear generation capacity reduces our dependency on coal and natural gas but does very little, directly, to reduce demand for petroleum.
Serious consideration needs to be given to the idea now being promoted by T. Boone Pickens to switching from gasoline to liquified natural gas as a substitute or partial substitute for automotive transportation. To do this, alternative energy sources, including both nuclear power and renewable energy need to be developed to take the place of natural gas as a fuel for Industrial applications, Residential and Commercial uses, and Electric Power generation.
Sum of components may not equal 100 percent due to independent rounding.
Sources: Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Review 2007, Tables 1.3, 2.1b-2.1f and 10.3.
1Does not include 0.6 quadrillion Btu of fuel ethanol, which is included in “Renewable Energy.”
2Excludes supplemental gaseous fuels.
3Includes less than 0.1 quadrillion Btu of coal coke net imports.
4Conventional hydroelectric power, geothermal, solar/PV, wind, and biomass.
5Includes industrial combined-heat-and-power (CHP) and industrial electricity-only plants.
6Includes commercial combined-heat-and-power (CHP) and commercial electricity-only plants.
7Electricity-only and combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plants whose primary business is to sell electricity, or electricity and heat, to the public.
8A BTU is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Farenheit.
12 Responses to “U.S. Primary Energy Consumption by Source and Sector 2007”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.