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New Study Shows Americans Used Less Energy and More Renewables in 2009


This energy chart, produced by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory shows, at left, the different sources of energy and the amounts produced in the United States. At right, the pink boxes show where energy was consumed, while the shades of gray depict the amount of energy lost or rejected, often through heat loss. Energy use in the U.S. dropped nearly 5 percent from 2008 to 2009, with renewable sources of energy — particularly wind power — showing significant growth. (Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)


U.S. energy use fell in 2009 and Americans used more wind and solar power and less electricity generated by burning coal and natural gas, according to a survey by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Using data from the U.S. Department of Energy, the laboratory said energy use fell from 99.2 quadrillion BTUs (quads) in 2008 to 94.6 quadrillion BTUs in 2009, a drop of nearly 5 percent. Laboratory analysts said that while some of the decline was due to the economic recession, the drop also came about because Americans are using more efficient vehicles and appliances. The laboratory said that electricity generation from solar arrays, wind turbines, geothermal wells, and hydroelectric dams all grew from 2008 to 2009, with wind power showing the most dramatic increase, from .51 quads in 2008 to .70 quads last year. “The increase in renewables is a really good story,” said A.J. Simon, an energy analyst at the lab. “It’s a result of very good incentives and technological advances.”


This post originally appeared on e360 Digest.

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