in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

Americans used less energy in 2011 than in 2010, but they consumed more wind power than in the previous year, finds a new report from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

The decrease in overall energy consumption was due mainly to a shift to higher-efficiency energy technologies in the transportation and residential sectors, LLNL says. Overall, U.S. energy use in 2011 equaled 97.3 quadrillion Btus (quads), compared to 98 quads used in 2010.

Most of the energy was tied to coal, natural gas and petroleum. However, wind power saw the biggest consumption jump, increasing from 0.92 quadrillion Btus (quads) in 2010 to 1.17 quads in 2011. Meanwhile, less coal was used, but more natural gas was consumed, LLNL notes.

Much of the increase in wind energy consumption came from new wind projects entering operation in the rush to qualify for the Dec. 31 in-service deadline of the production tax credit, a key incentive for the wind industry.

"Wind energy jumped significantly because, as in previous years, many new wind farms came online," says A.J. Simon, an LLNL energy systems analyst. "This is the result of sustained investment in wind power."

Hydroelectricity also saw an increase, jumping from 2.51 quads in 2010 to 3.17 quads in 2011. According to LLNL, hydroelectricity jumped significantly in 2011 because the year saw large amounts of precipitation in the western U.S., and hydroelectric dams were able to produce at their maximum levels while keeping reservoirs full.

From 2010 to 2011, the use of coal fell dramatically, the use of oil (petroleum) fell slightly and the use of natural gas increased slightly, from 24.65 quads in 2010 to 26.9 quads in 2011.


Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015
Latest Top Stories

Sensus Issues Refund To SaskPower After Smart Meter Woes

As SaskPower continues to swap out its Sensus units following several meter failures, the two companies have reached an agreement in order for the utility to recover costs.


The Smart Utility's Guide To Choosing A Smart Meter

Electricity providers across North America are taking on grid modernization. This article outlines the myriad factors a utility should consider in order to select the best-possible smart meter.


DOE Report: U.S. Wind Power Prices Reach All-Time Low

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), wind power continues to play a larger role in the U.S.' energy mix and is the cheapest it has ever been in the country.


Survey Reveals What U.S. Consumers Expect From Their Utilities

GE's new survey measures Americans' views on the state and future of the grid, as well as how much extra consumers would be willing to pay for better power reliability.


How A GIS Can Help Utilities Address The Aging Workforce And Capitalize On Data

Baby Boomers, whose experience and know-how have served the utility industry so well for decades, are retiring. The author suggests utilities can use a geographic information system (GIS) to fill in resultant knowledge gaps.

S&C Electric_id176
Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015
edf_id180
Future Energy_id187