Economic review

Fossil fuels still dominate U.S. energy consumption: EIA

2018-07-04 05:52:54 (Beijing Time)


HOUSTON, July 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Tuesday that fossil fuels share of U.S. energy consumption in 2017 was a little more than 80 percent, the lowest since 1902.

According to EIA, fossil fuels -- petroleum, natural gas and coal -- have accounted for at least 80 percent of energy consumption in the United States for well over a century, but 2017 witnessed the decrease of U.S. fossil fuels for the third consecutive year, driven by slightly less coal and natural gas consumption.

Coal consumption fell by 2.5 percent in 2017, following larger annual declines of 13.6 percent in 2015 and 8.5 percent in 2016, respectively. U.S. consumption of coal peaked in 2005 and declined nearly 40 percent since then.

Natural gas consumption fell by 1.4 percent in 2017, a change from recent trends. Unlike coal consumption, which decreased in 8 of the past 10 years, natural gas consumption increased in 8 of the past 10 years.

Natural gas consumption growth has been driven by increased use in the electric power sector. Overall, U.S. consumption of natural gas increased by 24 percent from 2005 to 2017.

Petroleum consumption increased in 2017, but remained 10 percent lower from its peak consumption level, also set in 2005.

Petroleum has been the largest source of energy consumption in the United States since surpassing coal in 1950.

The renewable share of energy consumption in 2017, which includes hydroelectricity, biomass, and other renewables such as wind and solar, was 11.3 percent, the highest since the late 1910s. The largest growth in renewables over the past decade has been in solar and wind electricity generation.