Wind Turbines

Chart of the Day: Despite New Green Deal Talk, King Coal Returns

The United States uses a mix of energy sources. It uses and produces many different types and sources of energy, which can be grouped into general categories such as primary and secondary, renewable and nonrenewable, and fossil fuels.

Primary energy sources include fossil fuels (petroleumnatural gas, and coal), nuclear energy, and renewable sources of energy. Electricity is a secondary energy source that is generated (produced) from primary energy sources.

Energy sources are measured in different physical units: liquid fuels in barrels or gallons, natural gas in cubic feet, coal in short tons, and electricity in kilowatts and kilowatt-hours. In the United States, British thermal units (Btu), a measure of heat energy, are commonly used for comparing different types of energy to each other. In 2020, total U.S. primary energy consumption was equal to about 92,943,042,000,000,000 Btu, or about 93 quadrillion Btu. See this energy mix in the below chart and learn more here.

US Energy By Source 2021As you can see, the much-touted wind and solar sources of energy are only about a third of what is called renewable sourced energies. Hence, these sources are only a total of only 4% of US total energy production. It will be a long time before these sources will make a dent in overall energy production.

Just-released data reveals the scope and details of US carbon emissions increases as the economy rebounded from COVID-19 restrictions, highlighting how White House climate goals may slip out of reach absent major new policies. See the chart below and learn more here.

America’s emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases increased in 2021 compared to 2020, largely due to a jump in coal use, according to a new report from the climate consulting firm the Rhodium Group. King coal makes a return.

US Energy By Source Trends 2021

US emissions increased 6.2% when compared to 2020 levels, but they still wound up at about 5% below that of the pre-pandemic year of 2019. The report points to the 17% jump in coal-fired power generation compared to 2020. The reason for this uptick in emissions was “a sharp rise” in coal generation, which amounted to a 17% uptick compared to the year before.

The market for natural gas is one of the primary drivers of coal’s decline, and of US emission reductions over the last decade. If the Biden administration continues the attack on oil and gas exploration and distribution, these gains will likely reverse.

So much for Biden’s “New Green Deal” initiatives. Whether we think we can change the planet’s climate change trends in this way in the first place is another discussion.

In any case, Greta Thunberg will not be happy.

See more #chartoftheday posts.

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 RWR original article syndication source.

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    • True, the Rhodium Group in the line chart was selectively showing a sub-part of the overall energy market. Considering the energy source mix, and that oil is about 33% of the total one could reverse understand this (today about the same as natural gas), though this would just show a current snapshot and not trend data.

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Born down on the farm in America's Midwest, my early life was spent climbing the ladder via a long career in information technology. Starting as a technician, and after earning a degree going to night school, I eventually found a place working at ATT Bell Laboratories as a software engineer.

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