Coal electricity plant in Black Mesa, AZ
Source: www.blackmesais.org (accessed Feb. 11, 2009)
In 2008 the US relied on fossil fuels in the form of coal, natural gas, and petroleum to supply 83.5% of its energy needs, down 2.75% from 2004. Renewable energy, such as wind, solar, and biofuels, accounted for 7.4% of US energy needs in 2008, up 1.1% from 2004.
The charts below detail US energy consumption by source (coal, natural gas, nuclear, renewable, etc.) and by state. They also provide state population numbers to put each state's energy use into a national perspective. For example, in Chart II the 2008 population of Texas (24,326,974) is 8.0% of the US population, while its energy use (11,552.2 trillion Btu) is 11.6% of the US total.
As of June 2011, the state totals for 2008 are the most recent numbers available from the US Energy Information Agency (EIA). To view the state by state totals from 2006 please click here.
II. State by State Energy Use by Source, 2008(All Btu numbers below taken from US Energy Information Agency)
Population (% of US population)
Total Energy Use (Trillion Btu) (% of total US energy use)
1. Includes hydroelectric power, biomass (wood and biomass waste), biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel), geothermal, solar power, and wind power.
2. A positive number in this category indicates that more electricity came into the state than went out of the state during the year; a negative number means that more electricity left the state than the amount that came in (all the percentages in this column take into account the amount of energy lost during the conversion of fuels - such as the conversion of coal to electricity).
III. US Total Energy Use by Source, 2004-2008 (All Btu numbers below taken from US Energy Information Agency)
1. The totals for waste include landfill gas, municipal solid waste, and other biomass.
IV. Btu Conversion Chart
The US Energy Information Agency (EIA) defines a Btu as "[t]he quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of liquid water by 1 degree Fahrenheit at the temperature at which water has its greatest density (approximately 39 degrees Fahrenheit). According to the EIA "[e]nergy consumption is expressed in Btu to allow for consumption comparisons among fuels that are measured in different units."
For example, renewables such as wind and solar power produce electricity. Electricity is normally measured in a unit called the kilowatthour (kWh) while petroleum (oil) and other liquid fuels are often measured in gallons.
1. Electricity: 1 kilowatthour = 3,421 Btu
2. Natural Gas: 1 cubic foot = 1,028 Btu
3. Oil: 172 million barrels of oil = One quadrillion Btu (1015)