The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, "hmm.... that's funny...." Isaac Asimov

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

U.S. energy use

The chart shows U.S. energy consumption by type of source based on data available from the USDOE/EIA. The Btu total for electricity generated by nuclear power and by renewable energy, which is mostly hydropower, is derived by the EIA. It is the product of the KWh produced times the amount of Btu consumed per KWh generated by the average U.S. fossil fuel plant. It is thus the amount of energy from fossil fuels that would have been required to produce the equivalent amount of electricity.

Notice that nuclear makes up a significant portion of the U.S. total energy consumption, but that, in my post of 12/13/09, which has a chart that shows fuel cost as a percent of GDP, the percentage for nuclear doesn’t show up. This is because the cost for nuclear fuel is so small that it represents a slice no thicker than the line in that chart between the costs of the fossil fuels.

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