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Energy consumption in the U.S. economy, 2010-2050

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Energy_consumption_in_US_economy
By 2050, the U.S. can phase out its use of oil, coal and nuclear energy by relying on energy efficiency to reduce its energy needs, and meeting remaining the energy requirements with renewables and natural gas.

 

Building sector energy use, 2009

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-building_sector_energy_use
Electricity is 75% of primary energy consumed by U.S. buildings, but 68% of that electricity is lost in conversion and delivery. Oil and natural gas are almost 10 quads of energy, or 25% of total primary energy.

 

U.S. industry energy-saving potential, 2010–2050

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_industry_energy_saving_potential
Increased adoption of energy efficient technologies as well as cogeneration and waste heat recovery systems will reduce energy use by an additional 4.7 quadrillion BTUs from business-as-usual. These and other changes (energy changes due fuel switching or transformation in other sectors) can reduce projected primary energy use by 27% in 2050.

 

U.S. installed capacity and electricity generation by energy resource, 1949 to 2009

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_capacaity_elecricity_generation_by_energy
The U.S. electricity sector has seen tremendous growth in the past 60 years. From 1949 to 2009, U.S. electricity consumption increased by a factor of 13. To meet this rising demand, the U.S has built vast amounts of new electricity generating infrastructure. The total U.S. installed capacity in 2009 was 998 GW, compared with just 65 GW in 1949.

 

U.S. oil combustion: present and projected

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_oil_combustion_transportation
The U.S. burns 13 million barrels of oil a day for transportation. Most of this oil powers cars and light trucks. By 2050, the U.S. is expected to burn upwards of 17 million barrels of oil a day for transportation alone.

 

Automotive and oil industry profits

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Automotive_and_oil_industry_profits
Automakers' profit margin typically hangs around 1% (in the U.S., 0.4%), far below the oil industry’s. The 2007–2008 global financial crisis sharply cut sales of new vehicles and the financial stability of the U.S. Big 3 auto manufacturers (Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler).

 

Estimated health effects from U.S. coal-fired power plant emissions

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-health_effects_from_US_power_plant_emissions
Fossil fuel combustion harms air quality and human health. A 2010 study by the Clean Air Task Force estimated that air pollution from coal-fired power plants accounts for more than 13,000 premature deaths, 20,000 heart attacks, and 1.6 million lost workdays in the U.S. each year. The total monetary cost of these health impacts is over $100 billion annually.

 

Fossil fuels: global production, 1800–2200

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Fossil_fuels_global_production
Humans have consumed roughly one-third of the planet’s technically and economically recoverable stock of fossil fuels. Projections from resource experts, although quite approximate, suggest that we are approaching peak consumption for oil (some assert the peak has already passed) and perhaps even for coal.

 

Primary energy consumption in U.S. industry

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Primary_energy_consumption_US_industry
Energy use for U.S. industry is conventionally projected to grow from 24.4 quads in 2010 to 30.5 quads in 2050.

In 2010, more than four-fifths of energy use in U.S. industry came from fossil fuels. Natural gas is the dominant source of energy (~35%).

 

Energy flow through a typical internal combustion engine drivetrain

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Energy_flow_through_a_typical_internal_combustion_engine_drivetrain
This chart shows why less than 0.5% of the energy in a typical modern auto’s fuel actually moves the driver, and only 5–6% moves the auto. An auto's weight is responsible for more than two-thirds of the energy needed to move it. All told, 86% of the fuel energy never reaches the wheels.

 

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