Taking a short break from examining a potential British response to climate change, I thought I’d provide a couple of charts detailing current generation capacity in the United States broken down by source. As you can see, as of 2007, 10.7 percent of the United States electricity comes from renewable sources.
U.S. Electric Net Summer Capacity
|U.S. Electric Net Summer Capacity, 2003-2007 (Megawatts)|
|Wood and Derived Fuels||5,871||6,182||6,193||6,372||6,432|
Source Interesting as far as electricity goes. But where do we get our energy from? Here’s another chart from the DOE. Note that the United States produced approximately 101 Quadrillion Btu of energy last year. For our purposes, this is convenient. While the numbers below are in Quadrillion Btu’s they can also be looked at, more or less, as percentages of a hundred.
|U.S. Energy Consumption by Energy Source, 2003, 2007 (Quadrillion Btu)|
|Coal Coke Net Imports||0.05||0.03|
|Electricity Net Imports||0.02||0.11|
|Wood Derived Fuels||2||2|
First, non-fossil fuel energy accounts for just 14% of the energy consumed by the United States. About half of that is renewable and half of that is nuclear. Achieving carbon neutrality would require an increase in our renewable/sustainable energy seven times over what we currently produce. The DOE’s goal is to produce 20% of the United States’ energy needs by wind by 2030. In 2007, wind produced 0.3 percent of the U.S. energy requirement. Wind production would have to be increased by 6,700%. That’s 67 times as many wind farms in existence today. In case the charts didn’t do it for you, try a couple of graphs. This first one breaks down production by source for the year 2000. This second one details whether that energy is consumed by industry, transport, residential or commercial customers.