Home » Nonfossil Fuel Energy Sources Accounted for 21% of U.S. Energy Consumption in 2022
Economy Featured Global News News

Nonfossil Fuel Energy Sources Accounted for 21% of U.S. Energy Consumption in 2022

Primary energy consumption in the United States was 100.4 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) in 2022, a 3% increase from 2021. About 21% of U.S. energy consumption in 2022 came from nonfossil fuel sources such as renewables and nuclear—a tie with 2020 as the highest share since the early 1900s, according to data in our Monthly Energy Review. Fossil fuels—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—accounted for 79% of total U.S. energy consumption in 2022.

Renewable energy consumption in the United States increased slightly from 12.1 quads in 2021 to a record-high 13.2 quads in 2022. Increased use of renewables for electricity generation, particularly wind and solar energy, largely drove the rise in renewable energy consumption. Wind remained the largest source of renewable energy in 2022; it first surpassed hydroelectricity, the second-largest renewable source, in 2019.

Consumption of nuclear energy totaled 8.0 quads in the United States in 2022, down slightly from 8.1 quads in 2021. The small decrease was driven by the closure of the Palisades nuclear power plant in May 2022, nine years before its operating license would have expired.

Petroleum has been the most-consumed energy source in the United States since surpassing coal in 1950. U.S. petroleum consumption remains below its 2005 peak, and in 2022, it totaled 35.8 quads. The transportation sector accounted for most of the petroleum-fueled energy consumption. Although the share of electric vehicles on the country’s roads has increased, petroleum remains the dominant fuel source for cars, trucks, and planes.

U.S. natural gas consumption totaled 33.4 quads in 2022, the most natural gas consumption in the United States on record. Growth in U.S. natural gas consumption has largely been driven by increased use of natural gas in the electric power sector, which has consumed more natural gas than any other sector every year for the past five years.

U.S. coal consumption fell to 9.8 quads in 2022, the second-lowest level in 60 years. U.S. coal consumption has fallen by more than half since its peak in 2005. Reduced coal use in the electric power sector has driven much of this decline.

Early energy consumption using water to power grist, lumber, and other milling operations is not well quantified, although such mills were a common feature throughout the early history of the United States.

U.S. energy consumption

Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review

Our Monthly Energy Review’s pre-1949 estimates of U.S. energy consumption are based on two sources: Sam Schurr and Bruce Netschert’s Energy in the American Economy, 1850–1975: Its History and Prospects and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Circular No. 641, Fuel Wood Used in the United States 1630–1930.

Appendix D of our Monthly Energy Review compiles these estimates of U.S. energy consumption in 10-year increments from 1635 through 1845 and 5-year increments from 1845 through 1945. Data for 1949 through the present day are available in the latest Monthly Energy Review.

Source : EIA