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

Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015
Latest Top Stories

To Help Combat Costly Electricity Theft, Emerging Markets Turn To Smart Grid Infrastructure

According to a new report, the world loses a whopping $89.3 billion to electricity theft annually, and emerging country markets are feeling a majority of the pain.


Report: Utilities Face Big Revenue Cuts From Distributed Energy Resources

According to a new report from Accenture, the growth of solar and other resources, such as energy storage, could mean significant losses for utilities.


NextEra To Acquire Hawaiian Electric In $4.3 Billion Merger Deal

If approved, the agreement between the two energy companies would produce one of North America's largest renewable energy players.


EPA Racks Up Over 1.6 Million Comments On Carbon Pollution Plan

Months after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its Clean Power Plan, which will create new regulations for existing power plants, the agency says it has received loads of feedback to consider.


Smart Grid Interest Continues To Spread Among U.S. Rural Utilities

A new survey gauges rural smart grid efforts across the country and offers key findings, one of which is that nearly all utilities polled are doing something to modernize their systems.

S&C Electric_id176
edf_id180