Today, an energy information update.
Where U.S. Energy Comes From and Where It Goes
Annually, we get a new flowchart from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Showing where our energy comes from and where it goes, the chart is a handy snapshot of how we power our homes, businesses, and vehicles:
We use a lot and waste a lot of energy. If one quad–a quadrillion BTUs–is the energy equivalent of approximately eight billion gallons of gasoline, then we can only begin to imagine what 97.7 quads of consumption represent. Thinking of our homes, the Lawrence Livermore people estimate that one person used 36 million BTUs in 2017. As for waste, we are referring primarily to efficiency. Your car’s gasoline, for example, drives the wheels as an “energy service” and comes out your car’s exhaust as “rejected energy.”
For a different perspective, you can see how our electricity generation has changed since 2001. The message is less coal and more natural gas. On a map, it’s less dark brown and more mustard:
For yet another perspective, the Visual Capitalist summed up the changes. The highest relative change was for hydro, wind, and solar. But still, in absolute numbers, they are a vastly smaller energy source than petroleum, natural gas, and coal:
Our Bottom Line: Price Nudges
Then also, the price of solar panels decreased, government subsidies helped lower the price of wind power, and when the price of gasoline plunged, we started driving more.
And finally, this explanation of the Lawrence Livermore Flow Chart is useful and brief:
My sources and more: The NY Times has electricity details for every state while WSJ has the natural gas story. Both reminded me it was time to return to Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and to check with visualcapitalist.com for more about the Livermore charts and so many other topics. Then, for some different data, do look at BusinessInsider also.
Please note that several of today’s sentences were in our previous Lawrence Livermore post. Our featured image is from Pixabay.