Trends in Renewable Energy Consumption and Electricity

Total Energy consumption declined for a second year in a row to its lowest level since 1996, dropping 10.1% in industrial areas.

04/12/2011


Despite an economic recession and a significant fall in overall energy demand/consumption, the use of renewable fuels grew strongly in 2009. This growth has been supported by federal and state programs, including federal tax credits, state renewable portfolio standards, and a federal renewable fuels standard. The U.S. Energy Information Administration details renewable energy consumption in 2009 and explains the decrease in total energy consumption over the past two years.

Total U.S. Energy Consumption

U.S. energy consumption declined for the second year in a row in 2009, falling 4.8% between 2008 and 2009 to 94.6 quadrillion British Thermal Units (Btus). This follows a 2.1% decline between 2007 and 2008. As a result, total energy consumption in 2009 dropped to its lowest level since 1996.

This is just the third time since 1949 that energy consumption has declined for two or more consecutive years. It declined between 1973 and 1974 and again in 1975. However, consumption rebounded in 1976 above the 1973 level. The longest and steepest decline occurred between 1979 and 1983, when total energy consumption dropped 9.7% and it did not reach the 1979 level again until 1988.

In both of these earlier periods, oil prices that rose steeply and remained at high levels were a major factor in slowing down the economy and hence reducing energy consumption. This time, there has been no steep oil price increase that resulted in permanently higher oil prices; the average annual price per barrel of crude oil was $60 in 2006, $67 in 2007, $94 in 2008, and $56 in 2009. Instead, the economy slowed down mainly due to factors outside the energy sector.

Consumption of all major fuels declined between 2008 and 2009, except for renewables. Coal dropped the most, falling 12%, while petroleum consumption fell nearly 5%, and natural gas consumption fell 2%. Even nuclear fuel consumption fell by nearly 1%. The decline in all of these sources of energy masks the switching of coal to natural gas for electricity generation due to low natural gas prices.

By sector, energy consumption dropped most in the industrial area (10.1%), followed by electric power (4.5%) and then transportation (3.5%). The residential and commercial sectors each experienced declines of under 2%.

Read more…

- Edited by Gust Gianos, Consulting-Specifying Engineer, www.csemag.com



The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
The future of electrical safety; Four keys to RPM success; Picking the right weld fume option
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
VFDs improving motion control applications; Powering automation and IIoT wirelessly; Connecting the dots
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me