U.S. energy consumption increases (are you surprised?)

It’s hardly surprising or noteworthy that U.S. energy consumption has continued to relentlessly increase.  As the graph from Environmental Leader shows, total U.S. energy consumption increased from 47.39 quadrillion Btu for the first half of 2009 to 49.02 quadrillion Btu in the first half of 2011 – an increase of 1.63 quadrillion Btu (up 3.4%).

Of that total increase, energy from fossil fuels increased by 1.01 quadrillion Btu (up 2.5%), nuclear decreased by 0.21 quadrillion Btu (down 5%), and renewables increased by 0.83 quadrillion Btu (up 22%).  Nuclear energy declined each year and renewable energy increased each year.

A 22% increase in renewable energy generation during that period is pretty good.  But renewable energy needs to grow much faster.  And considering the condition of our aging transmission system that is straining under the existing load, and the huge projected increase in future electricity demand, renewable energy generated at the location where it will be used needs to grow exponentially.

About the Author

Mark H. Witte is a strong proponent for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and believes individuals should have more control over how the energy for their homes is produced.