Did You Know?
- The United States has 1.6% of the world's oil but it uses 24% of the world's oil production.
- In 2016, renewable energy sources (biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, and wind) accounted for 10% of total US energy consumption, up from 7.4% in 2008.
- In 2016 fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and petroleum) supplied 81% of total US energy consumption, down from 83.5% in 2008.
- The first demonstration of electricity generation from a solar cell took place in 1876, and the first windmill to generate electricity was built in 1888.
- If captured, the solar radiation reaching the earth's surface in one year could provide more than 10,000 times the world's yearly energy needs.
- If 20% of US electricity were obtained from wind power, it would reportedly reduce green house gas emissions equivalent to taking 71 million cars off the road.
- For wind power to provide all daily US energy needs, all of the wind energy (kinetic energy) from an area the size of Wyoming would need to be captured every day.
- Solar energy powered the first satelite launched into orbit by the US in 1958.
- If all of the corn produced annually in the US were converted into ethanol, it would be able to replace about 7% of the total oil consumption in the US each year.
- It takes 450 pounds of corn to make 25 gallons of ethanol. That same amount of corn contains enough calories to feed a person for a year.
- The first "flex fuel" vehicle - a car that runs on ethanol or gasoline - was the 1908 Ford Model-T.
- The US consumes 317.1 billion gallons of oil per year (as of 2006). 70% of it is used for transportation.
- 'Peak oil' - the point when global oil production reaches its maximum possible level and begins to decline - has already occurred according to some energy analysts.
- Waste from nuclear power plants can remain radioactive from days to hundreds or thousands of years.
- In Dec. of 2008 the worst coal ash spill in US history took place, spilling 1.3 million cubic meters of sludge into a valley in Tennessee. The waste contained arsenic, lead, and other toxics. Coal ash, a byproduct of coal burning for electricity generation, is not regulated as a hazardous waste by the US EPA.