The bad news is that Americans used more energy in 2013 than in 2012. Unchanged is the fact that US energy efficiency is still terrible. The good news is that 2013 saw more renewable energy produced!
Each year the Lawrence Livermore Labs releases an energy flow chart, which is a great infographic that displays the origin of US energy, the sectors that use that energy, and the efficiency of each sector. This year’s infographic was recently posted (click on the image to make it larger).
Some highlights from the lab’s news release:
- “Wind energy continued to grow strongly, increasing 18 percent from 1.36 quadrillion BTUs, or quads, in 2012 to 1.6 quads in 2013.”
- “Natural gas prices rose slightly in 2013, reversing some of the recent shift from coal to gas in the electricity production sector.”
- “Petroleum use increased in 2013 from the previous year.”
- “Rejected energy [roughly energy lost to inefficiency] increased to 59 quads in 2013 from 58.1 in 2012, rising in proportion to the total energy consumed.”
What I enjoy about this infographic is that it highlights the rejected energy, which highlights the inefficiency of US energy use. Transportation, as you can see, produces a lot of rejected energy (probably due to the inefficiency of the combustion engine). If we can’t curb our energy use (which I think we should) then we absolutely need to be doing a better job finding efficiencies.