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admin 11.09.2013

This chart from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory provides a simple clear way to understand how energy is used in the US. Energy sources are on the left side – solar, nuclear, hydro, wind, geothermal, natural gas, coal, biomass, petroleum. Energy users are broken in to four categories a€“ residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation.
The gray boxes on the right sum up the energy that was used and the energy that was lost (rejected).
The width of the lines running from the various energy sources to their destination uses is proportional to the amount of energy used. As can be seen, the lion’s share of US energy consumption comes from fossil fuel sources (oil, coal, natural gas). Zooming in to the transportation sector, we can see that most of that oil is used for personal vehicles (cars, light truck and SUVs). Any attempt to reduce our dependance on oil will require grappling with transportation in general, and personal transportation in particular.
Personal transportation is 4 to 10 times less efficient than public transportation (commuter rail, trains and buses). WELCOME!Thank you for visiting 8020 Vision a€“ connecting the dots between global challenges and sustainable solutions. A look at the energy industry from source to demand sectors may shed some light on this anomaly. A snap shot of the energy mix for any given year shows only a slight shift towards less carbon-intensive fuels. 1980; oil (42%), natural gas (26%), coal (21%), renewables (7%), nuclear (4%) and liquid biofuels (0%). 2010: oil (37%), natural gas (25%), coal (21%), nuclear (9%), renewables (7%), and liquid biofuels (1%). 2035: oil (32%), natural gas (25%), coal (20%), renewables (11%), nuclear (9%) and liquid biofuels (4%). While the consumption of liquid biofuels was shown to grow by a factor of 587, biofuels are projected to remain a negligible part of U.S.
Today it’s somewhat controversial whether hydropower should be classified as a renewable source of energy.
A closer look at the renewable energy component shows that solar, geothermal and wind are less than 2% of total energy mix of the U.S.


Increased consumption of natural gas for electrical generation is due to the combined effect of ever increasing natural gas production, declining natural gas prices and an increased use of efficient and low-cost combined cycle technology. Coal Age recently announced: “Recently published electric power data show that, for the first time since the Energy Information Administration (EIA) began collecting data, generation from natural gas-fired plants is virtually equal to generation from coal-fired plants, with each fuel providing 32% of total generation. It’s a well-proven fact that natural gas is clean, in fact the cleanest of all fossil fuels.
The point is that while coal will most likely continue its decline in fueling electrical generation facilities; natural gas needs another demand sector to increase demand and further replace dirty fossil fuels from our energy inventory. This leaves the transportation industry as the only other viable sector that can make a significant impact on the energy mix by using an alternative fuel.
It must be noted that almost every conventional gasoline and diesel internal combustion engine can be converted to run on compressed natural gas (CNG).
Not that incentives are a good thing, but to play on a level playing field with petroleum, either oil subsides should be reduced or incentives should be given to end users of CNG powered vehicles (see Oil Subsidies 101).[9]  All CNG incentives offered by the federal government have expired. There are a few disadvantages of using CNG, these include the limited number of models offered for sale or that can be retrofitted for CNG. Fact-checking the CCA2014 Elections - the aftermathSee how local restaurants & markets do in Health Dept.
Of the fossil fuels, oil is the source most in demand, the bulk of which is used by the transportation sector. When oil prices rise quickly, as they did in 2008 (to over $140 per barrel), consumer behavior shifts rapidly.
Energy Consumption in 2011 by Energy Source is shown below.[3] As opposed to the previous figure, this chart breaks out the various energy sources that makeup renewable energy. This is due to replacing coal-fired generation plants with natural gas-fired generation stations. Also, due to regulatory pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution from coal-fired power plants, electric utilities had no other choice but to adopt natural gas as a logical alternative. In April 2012, preliminary data show net electric generation from natural gas was 95.9 million megawatt-hours (mw-hr), only slightly below generation from coal, at 96 million mw-hr. There is rhetoric, and just that, on Capitol Hill to do something to stimulate usage of natural gas in the transportation sector. A good part of this limitation is due to EPA regulations that make the CNG certification process rather lengthy and costly.
Natural gas, being the least disruptive fossil fuel, could serve as a ‘bridge’ to a low-carbon future.


Barry Stevens, an accomplished business developer and entrepreneur in technology-driven enterprises. Understanding the energy trends shaping our world is essential to managing risk and innovating solutions for business, government and community. We are finding more reserves of natural gas, drilling more, watching prices decline, and yet using only slightly more. We are indeed a carbon based economy, and with low prices and abundant availability one would think the demand for natural gas would be sky-high. Similarly, while the consumption of renewables is projected to double by 2035, total renewables are vastly overshadowed by fossil fuels in 2035.
One argument against qualification is that most hydroelectric facilities were already built prior to adoption of renewable standards and policies by many states.[2] Another argument states that damming interrupts the flow of rivers and can harm local ecosystems and building large dams and reservoirs often involves displacing people and wildlife. Whether surprising or not, these renewables are not substantially reducing our thirst for fossil fuels. Natural gas will buy time to further develop, cleaner fuels; hopefully there will be something at the end of the day, whether it takes 25 years or the end of the century.
However, unconventional hydropower using currents, waves, and tidal energy to produce electricity is less disruptive and qualifies as renewable. A March 2012 report in the New York Times stated: “…the state of the electric car is dismal, the victim of hyped expectations, technological flops, high costs and a hostile political climate. In this role, he is responsible for leading the development of emerging and mature technology driven enterprises in the shale gas, natural gas, renewable energy and sustainability industries. Commuters embraced public transportation, with many metropolitan areas seeing 30 to 45 percent increases in use of public transportation in just one quarter. Residential and commercial are somewhat similar in that they run by electricity and natural gas.
General Motors has temporarily suspended production of the plug-in electric Chevy Volt because of low sales.
Conversion is not cheap; passenger vehicles can be converted for $10,000 each, parts and labor.
From this it’s difficult to see a sector other than electrical generation that can truly benefit from and increase the usage of renewable energy.



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