Americans Using More Renewable, Fossil and Nuclear Energy

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mileageThe annual energy flow charts released by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory illustrate how much energy is being used by the nation. The sheets released for 2013 show that Americans increased their energy use last year by 2.3 quadrillion thermal units, in comparison with the usage in 2012. In addition, the carbon dioxide emissions for the same year increased to 5,390, the first time there has been an increase since 2010.

Energy use in wind, natural gas, electricity and nuclear all increased, with the greatest significance being in the use of electricity generation, and then was followed by transportation, industrial, residential and commercial. The use of natural gas increased by 0.6 quads, with expectations for 2014 expected to grow because of the severe weather on the East Coast. According to A.J. Simon, the group leader for energy at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, “The power industry is building a lot of natural gas plants.” This is due to cheaper prices for gas plants over coal plants.

According to a Science Daily news article, petroleum use increased, though not as significantly as might be expected, considering the modest economic expansion. The science article credits the increase in energy-efficient cars over older, less-efficient ones for keeping the growth at such a low number.

Simon also commented that not all of the energy that is consumed is put to use. “Rejected energy,” such as that from the water heater or tailpipe of the car, is an example of energy that is not used.

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