Wind power jumped from .70 quadrillion BTU, or quads, in 2009 to .92 quads in 2010. (A BTU or British Thermal Unit is a unit of measurement for energy and is equivalent to about 1.055 kilojoules). Most of that energy is tied directly to electricity generation and thus helps decrease the use of coal for electricity production. Biomass energy consumption rose from 3.88 quads to 4.29 quads. That increase was driven by ethanol use as a transportation fuel and a feedstock for industrial production. (The apparent decline in geothermal energy use is due to an accounting change by the Energy Information Administration.)
"We are still seeing the capacity additions from a wind energy boom come online," said. A.J. Simon, an LLNL energy systems analyst who develops the flow charts using data provided by the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration. "And renewable fuel mandates are driving the consumption of ethanol by cars and trucks."
Overall, U.S. energy use in 2010 equaled 98 quads compared to the 94.6 quads used in 2009. Most of the energy was tied to coal, natural gas and petroleum.
Energy use in the residential, commercial, industrial and transportation arenas all rose as well.
The majority of energy use in 2010 was used for electricity generation (39.49 quads), followed by transportation, industrial, residential and commercial consumption. "This is just a snapshot of how the energy system was used," Simon said. "Although it doesn't appear to change much from year-to-year, even small shifts can have big consequences for certain sectors of our economy."
As in previous years, coal was the major player in producing electricity, with nuclear and natural gas coming in second and third, respectively. But natural gas consumption by the electric sector grew 0.5 quads this year, driven by consistently low natural gas prices. Over the past six years, gas use in the electric sector has increased 25 percent.
Petroleum fuels continue to dominate the transportation sector.
Though carbon emissions in 2010 were higher than they were in 2009, Americans' carbon footprint has decreased over the past few years. The U.S. emitted 5,632 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2010, up from 5,428 in 2009, but down from the all time high of 6,022 in 2007. The decrease is due primarily to reduced energy consumption, but aided by a shift from coal to natural gas in the electric sector and adoption of renewable energy resources.
One metric ton of CO2 emissions is equivalent to 37.8 propane cylinders used for home barbecues or 2.1 barrels of oil consumed, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.More Information
Anne Stark | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences