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Our Energy Tomorrow: The State of American Energy

Posted by Content Coordinator on Friday, January 9th, 2015


America’s Petroleum Renaissance
The American Petroleum Institute

Oil has been the foundation of the expansion and modernization of America’s economy for more than a century. While the United States in recent history largely looked to foreign nations to satisfy its demand for oil, new cutting-edge technologies now enable America to capitalize on abundant domestic petroleum resources to increasingly meet its own current and future energy needs.

The results are striking. Since 2008, America’s crude oil production has surged by 70 percent, rising from an average of 5 million barrels per day in 2008 to 8.6 million barrels per day in August 2014.14 At its current production rate, the United States is anticipated to surpass both Saudi Arabia and Russia, historically two top energy producers, to become the world’s largest producer of oil this year.

Nuclear Energy Reliably Powers America
The Nuclear Energy Institute

Nuclear energy’s contributions to the U.S. economy extend beyond being a dependable source of clean power generation. Construction of new facilities is driving job growth and economic development in numerous communities, providing valuable stimulus today and positioning nuclear energy to meet America’s growing demand for power in the future.

Later this year, the Tennessee Valley Authority is expected to begin generating electricity at a new Watts Bar reactor in east Tennessee — the first nuclear energy project in America since the company started producing electricity at its first Watts Bar reactor nearly 20 years ago.

hydropowerHydropower | A Wave of Potential for a Renewable Energy Future
The National Hydropower Association

For well over a century, hydropower has been a reliable, low-cost, clean component of America’s electricity portfolio. It powered the nation through the Great Depression and helped fuel our war effort during World War II, becoming a mainstay of economic growth and national security. Today, it continues to play an essential role in our energy mix and promises to expand that role with tens of thousands of untapped clean-energy megawatts.

Hydropower is the nation’s largest source of renewable electricity. With 80 gigawatts of conventional and 20 gigawatts of pumped storage, hydropower provides numerous electrical, economic and environmental benefits. In 2013, it provided enough electricity for 25 million American homes to have access to clean, reliable, low-cost electricity.

Solar Energy in America Shines Bright
The Solar Energy Industries Association

Few things threaten America’s future prosperity more than climate change.

But there is growing hope. Every 2.5 minutes of every single day, the U.S. solar industry is helping to fight this battle by flipping the switch on another completed solar project.

According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the United States installed an estimated 7.4 gigawatts (GW) of solar last year — a 42 percent increase over 2013 — making it the best year ever for solar installations in America. What’s more, solar accounted for a record 53 percent of all new electric generation capacity installed in the first half of 2014, pushing solar to the front as the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in America.

Today, the U.S. has an estimated 20.2 GW of installed solar capacity, enough to effectively power nearly 4 million homes in the United States — or every single home in a state the size of Massachusetts or New Jersey — with another 20 GW in the pipeline for 2015-2016.

Geothermal Power | Renewable Energy from the Earth’s Warmth
The Geothermal Energy Association

Electricity from geothermal energy was first generated in 1904 at Larderello geothermal field in the Tuscany region of northwestern Italy with a small 10-kilowatt generator. Since then, geothermal power has grown as a clean and reliable source of renewable electricity. Today, there are nearly 80 countries exploring for geothermal energy resources to power their economies and combat climate change.

Currently, the size of the global geothermal market is around 12.1 gigawatts (GW) and the U.S. market is roughly 3.6 GW of nameplate capacity. Worldwide, geothermal power capacity has grown every year since the mid-1980s and is expected to increase by 4 to 5 percent each year for the rest of the decade as countries implement policies to avoid the consequences of climate change. The current 12.1 GW of global capacity represents only about 6 percent of total global potential resources, which the International Panel on Climate Change estimates at over 200 GW of identified geothermal resources.

Natural Gas | America’s Abundant, Clean Energy
The American Petroleum Institute

Today, America has an opportunity to embrace natural gas as a fuel of our future. The United States has vaulted past Russia to become the world’s largest natural gas producer and is projected to become a net exporter within the next decade. 

This development is attributable to technological innovation in the areas of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that turned previously inaccessible natural gas resources into producing wells — a 100-year, secure and safe supply of clean-burning natural gas. It has also paved the way for significant economic growth and opportunity. Today, the natural gas industry supports nearly 3 million jobs and adds about $385 billion to the national economy each year.

Wind EnergyThe Attributes of Wind Energy are Adding Up
The American Wind Energy Association

Wind energy has emerged as an attractive source of clean power that is delivering numerous economic benefits today and is poised to play a key role in meeting America’s future needs for clean, affordable energy. Mainstream in the United States for many years and still on a steep growth curve, wind energy has a new source of appeal: Over the past five years, its cost has dropped an impressive 58 percent.

As a result of continued technological improvement and domestic manufacturing, wind energy has become one of the most affordable sources of electricity today and one of utilities’ leading choices for new generation.

It has also become a major economic contributor. The U.S. wind industry has attracted up to $25 billion a year in private investment and generated up to 85,000 jobs, roughly one-third of them in a rapidly growing new U.S. manufacturing sector.

Electricity from Coal is a Vital, but Threatened, Energy Source
The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity

Coal-fueled electricity generation has powered the American way of life for decades and remains the backbone of the U.S. electrical grid. In 2013, coal-fueled generation accounted for nearly 40 percent of all electricity produced in the United States. This affordable and reliable energy source is critically important to America’s economic present and future. Today, electricity from coal supports more than 880,000 U.S. jobs and contributes more than $106 billion to the national economy.

Ninety-three percent of the coal consumed in the United States is used to generate electricity in 48 states, providing at least half of the electricity in 17 states and at least one-quarter of the electricity in 31 states. Coal is also used in the steel, paper, cement and plastics industries. It is used to produce activated carbon for water purification and carbon fibers for fuel cells and electronics. Coal is critical to keeping electricity costs low. Thirty-one states that, on average, generate more than 55 percent of their electricity from coal pay 11 percent less than the national average for electricity.

Biomass Power | Ready, Proven and Cost-Effective Energy
The Biomass Power Association

For decades, biomass power has served as an important energy resource in the generation of electricity and heat for industrial, commercial and residential purposes. In addition to contributing to an “all of the above” energy policy, biomass provides significant environmental and economic benefits to rural America.

Biomass power is generated from the combustion of organic materials — principally forestry debris and agricultural materials. There are more than 100 biomass facilities across America located in more than 20 states. These facilities range in size from small-scale combined heat and power systems to large, grid-connected facilities, averaging in capacity from 20 to 100 megawatts (MW).

Energy Efficiency | A Great American Success Story
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

For the last 40 years, energy efficiency has been a quiet success story in America’s energy industry. Modern energy efficiency in the United States began to emerge in the 1970s as changes in patterns of energy consumption and events, such as the oil crisis, began to put pressure on the U.S. energy infrastructure. In response, a diverse group of scientists and analysts from many fields and industries began to develop strategies and technologies for using less energy to deliver the same or better services to consumers and businesses. These strategies have grown to affect almost every activity that uses energy, and have greatly influenced utilities, building designers, industrial planners and manufacturers of everything from household appliances to heavy-duty vehicles.

Download full version (PDF): The State of American Energy

About the American Petroleum Institute
The American Petroleum Institute (API) is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 20 million Americans.

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One Response to “Our Energy Tomorrow: The State of American Energy”

  1. jerry schneider says:

    I think the section on nuclear is very understated and needs to be expanded to include more of the current activity that is being devoted to finding new and better reactor designs, in the US as well as world-wide.

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