America's Energy Facts
1 - Fact: Oil will continue to be a major source of America’s energy for many decades.
Ninety-four percent of U.S. transportation (1) requirements are met by oil to fuel automobiles, trucks, airplanes, boats and other transport vehicles. Forty-one percent of U.S. industrial (2) requirements are also supplied by oil, including the manufacture of petroleum-based products, such as chemicals, rubber and plastics.
2 - Fact: Even with major developments in biofuel, fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal) will still be a major source of energy through 2030.
The graph below shows the projected biofuel and fossil fuel content (including oil and natural gas) of gasoline and diesel through 2015 and 2030. Although the use of biofuel is estimated to grow considerably in the next 20 years, it will not be enough to offset the need for oil and natural gas for transportation. According to Guy Caruso, Former Administrator with the Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Information Association (EIA), "Total biofuel consumption reaches 2.8 quadrillion Btu (29.7 billion gallons) in 2030 ... This represents about 11.3 percent of total motor vehicle fuel, on a Btu basis, in 2030" ... (3) and "Consumption of diesel liquids produced from biomass (BTL) grows to 4.2 billion gallons in 2030, 4.9 percent of total diesel consumption by volume." (4)
Fossil fuel and biofuel content of U.S. motor fuel supply, 2006, 2015, and 2030 (billion gallons).
**Source EIA Annual Energy Outlook, June 2008. (5)
**Graph measured in quadrillion Btu
3 - Fact: Natural gas is a major source of heat and power for our homes and businesses.
Americans rely on natural gas to heat our homes and to power our factories. Over 60 million households are heated using natural gas. In addition, natural gas supplies over 76 percent of U.S. residential and commercial (6) needs, including cooking, heating water, and commercial heating.
4 - Fact: Coal and nuclear supply over 70% of America’s electricity needs.
Coal-powered plants supply over 48 percent (7) of U.S. electricity needs; and nuclear plants an additional 22 percent (8) There are over 65 licensed nuclear power plants throughout the United States, whose sole purpose is to generate electricity.
5 - Fact: Renewable energy (conventional hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, wind and biomass) has the potential to be a significant source of power for the United States.
Renewable energy has significant potential, in particular to generate electricity. According to the EIA, however, approximately 7 percent (9) of America’s total energy needs are supplied by renewable sources. Furthermore, development of economical and widespread solutions are years away, and they will not alone solve our major demands for electricity and transportation. We will still rely heavily on traditional fossil fuels to fill the gap until we can create the sources, infrastructure and technologies that will fully take advantage of the benefits that renewable energy has to offer.
6 - Fact: America’s energy demands will continue to grow, and energy supplies need to meet those demands.
Delivered energy consumption by sector, 1980-2035
Energy consumption by fuel, 1980-2035
**Source EIA Annual Energy Outlook, 2011 Early Release. *Liquids refers to gasoline, diesel and other liquid fuels.
**Graph measured in quadrillion Btu (10) (11)
The graphs above depict America’s past and projected energy demand by sector and by fuel type. EIA estimates that demand for energy will continue to grow in all sectors through 2035. These are only projections, and changes, such as legislation, development of new technologies and supplies will affect these numbers. It is also important to realize that while we cannot domestically produce all of the energy we need to meet our current and future demands, each unit of energy that we do produce within the U.S. is one that we do not have to import. We can and should, however, draw upon all of our domestic knowledge, technology and resources to achieve energy security for our country, and to protect the environment for our world.