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Electricity - Background on electricity sector 3 Items

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.

 

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.

 

Estimated water withdrawals in the U.S., 1950–2005

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Estimated_water_withdrawals_in_US
In 2005, half of U.S. water withdrawals were made by the electricity sector. A “business-as-usual” U.S. electricity future will increase reliance on large thermal power plants and keep water demands high.