Electric meters in a row measuring power use. Electricity consumption concept.

The Future of Energy Consumption

According to the U.S. Energy Profile, the country is considered the world’s second-largest energy producer, consumer and net importer like China. Analysing the imports profile, it can be seen that the U.S Crude oil imports reduced between 2005 and 2015 from a peak of 25 Quadrillion BTUs.

Furthermore, it was noticed that the country is currently exporting natural gas instead of importing it. Plus, they also rank:

  • first in worldwide reserves of coal;
  • sixth in worldwide reserves of natural gas;
  • eleventh in worldwide reserves of oil.

The US Energy Consumption by source and the user´s sector revealed that each energy source and the amount of energy it supplies. They showed petroleum is the leading source of energy with 35.4 quadrillion BTUs (British Thermal Units). Then, it comes the natural gas with 28.3 quadrillion BTUs. And, the coal supplies 15.7 quadrillion BTUs of energy. As regards, renewable energy and nuclear power, they are responsible for 9.7 and 8.3 quadrillion BTUs respectively.

In the case of petroleum consumption, a 72% of it is used for transportation and another 23% is used by the industrial sector. Similarly, 35% of the natural gas is used for power generation. But, 76% of the residential and commercial energy needs are satisfied by natural gas.

Energy Consumption by Source and Sector

The US is presented as dependent on petroleum supply. Only a minimal amount of energy comes from renewable energy sources like wood or water (hydroelectricity). What is more, the highest sources of energy such as petroleum are non-renewable, and they include natural gas and coal.

Energy Consumption Though Time

By 2015, fossil fuels made up 81.5% of total U.S. energy consumption which was perceived as the lowest share in the past century. The EIA projected that the percentage might decline to 76.6% by 2040. However, some policy changes or technology breakthroughs beyond the trend improvements could significantly change that projection.

Three years ago, the renewable share of energy consumption in the United States was its largest since the 1930s at nearly 10%. Besides, the most significant growth in renewables over the last couple of years has been in solar and wind electricity generation.

In the recent years, one of the most notable declines was coal. It felt 13% in 2015, and it was seen as the highest annual percentage decrease of any fossil fuel in the past 50 years.

On the other hand, wind and solar are among the fastest-growing energy sources in the projection. It is projected that by 2040, it might nearly exceeding coal consumption.

Energy Sources´ Future Outlook.

Domestic supply was 14.72 million barrels, and its net imports were 9.17 million barrels per day in 2010. That is why the increasing trend of U.S. dependence on imported oil in the past decade is expected to continue growing.

Five years later, the United States imported around 9.4 million barrels per day of petroleum from about 82 countries. Although petroleum might include crude oil, natural gas plant liquids, liquefied refinery gases, refined petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel fuel, and biofuels including ethanol and biodiesel, about 785 imports were just crude oil.

Moreover, the US exported About 4.8 million barrels per day of petroleum to 136 countries. As most of the exports were petroleum products, the resulting net imports of petroleum were about 4.6 million barrels per day.

After strong growth in domestic oil and dry natural gas production, the net U.S. imports of energy declined from 30% of total energy consumption in 2005 to 13% in 2013.

Energy Consumption History

The US energy consumption history indicates that petroleum made the largest part of the energy demand over the past seven decades and that natural gas has taken the second place.

With the production of gas from shale, coal is slowly being replaced by natural gas for power generation. Thus, renewable energy is growing fast.

Among the renewable energy sources, wind energy and solar energy are the fastest growing energy sources.

Electricity

There are huge expectations in connection with the growth of US electricity generation. It is believed that it might grow from 3.7 trillion kilowatt/hours in 2015 to 4558 kilowatt/ hours in 2035.

This growth is mainly due to the use of computers, office equipment, and electrical appliances in the residential and commercial sectors. But it is entirely offset by improved efficiency in more traditional electrical applications, by the effects of demand-side management programs, and by slower growth in electricity demand for some applications, such as air conditioning.

It is also considered that in the next 10 years natural gas will increase its share to 26 percent, lowering the coal share to 20 percent in 2035. Nuclear and renewable generation are growing as new plants are built stimulated by Federal tax incentives and rising fossil fuel prices. The nuclear generation is projected to remain at about 9 percent in 2035. And so generation from renewable resources is expected to grow from 8 percent in 2012 to 16 percent in 2035.

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