Gov’t Report: Fossil Fuels ‘Continue To Dominate US Energy Mix’

(Shutterstock/ James BO Insogna)

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Fossil fuels still “dominate” the U.S. energy markets, according to a report published Monday by the Department of Energy’s statistics agency.

Fossil fuels accounted for 81 percent of total U.S. energy consumption in 2016, according to the report. Roughly 35 percent of all U.S. energy comes from oil, while nearly 30 percent comes from natural gas. The largest supplier of non-fossil fuel energy is nuclear power, which accounts for almost 10 percent of U.S. energy.

The only fossil fuel energy source in decline is coal, which is mostly being replaced by natural gas, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

(Photo credit: US government photo created by the Energy Information Administration. Released.)

Most U.S. renewable energy came from burning biomass, like wood or hydroelectric power. The U.S. got only 0.9 percent of its electricity from solar power and just 5.6 percent from wind in 2016, according to the EIA. Burning wood produced more energy than solar or wind power in America last year.

These trends aren’t expected to change in the future. The world will use 48 percent more energy by 2040, three-quarters of which will come from coal, oil or natural gas, according to another EIA report published in May 2016.

Most of the world’s new energy usage will come from developing countries, particularly China and India, and 75 percent of that energy will be coal, oil or natural gas. Only a relatively small percentage of the world’s energy will come from wind and solar power despite massive subsidies, contrary to claims from environmental groups like The Sierra Club.

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