Energy Explained: Where Will it Come From And Just how much Do We Use?

Energy Explained: Where Will it Come From And Just how much Do We Use?


Absolutely nothing in the world of ours – automobiles, cat videos, coffee, possibly canned pineapple – would occur with no electricity. But although electricity makes everything work, nearly all of us do not understand the answers to even the best fundamental questions:


Just how much power do we use?


And where does the electricity of ours come from?


These questions are easy, though the solutions lay the foundation for every one of the more complicated problems we deal with right here on Inside Energy, from pipelines to land use to grid infrastructure. We have discussed the fundamentals in the video above. For a much deeper look, we need to place on the information goggles of ours.


Just how much power do we use?


Globally, people used aproximatelly 575 quadrillion Btu of power in 2015, based on estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Agency. With a worldwide public of 7.3 billion, that actually works out to seventy eight million Btu a person, a season. Having difficulty intuiting how large that’s? Us also. Here is one means to cover the mind of yours close to it: A Btu is about the power produced in one fight. Therefore in case you wanted to ingest all of the power of yours in the type of matches, you would have striking 2.5 every minute. We do not recommend to try it.


match-animated Worldwide, our per individual energy consumption is the same as each individual lighting 2.5 matches a next.


Americans are serious power users, accounting for nearly one sixth of earth energy use. That is 303 million Btu annually every American. Using the match analogy of ours, you would need to light almost 10 matches a minute to match the energy appetite of the common American human.


match-animated-american In the U.S., our per individual energy consumption is the same as each individual lighting ten matches a next.


And just how provides the quantity of electricity we utilize changed over time? Americans today use roughly 3 times the quantity of electricity our great-grandparents used hundred years back. And back then, they utilized more wood than petroleum.


Inside Energy matched up (ha!) energy consumption data from the EIA with population data from the U.S. Census Bureau to obtain a photograph of just how our per individual energy consumption has changed over time, heading again to 1790:


 Get the data, notes along with source on Github


Energy consumption skyrocketed in the twentieth century, but is declining in the recent past.


The U.S. placed eleventh, globally, in terminology of energy consumption every person, based on 2013 information from the World Bank. Per person, the common American consumes 3 times as power that is lots of as someone in China. But Americans just use one third of the power, per person, as Icelanders. (Why does Iceland make use of a lot of power? Short answer: The primary sources of energy of theirs, geothermal and hydroelectric power, cannot be easily stored. So they have to put it to use and lose it. Iceland features an enormous lightweight aluminum sector, that is energy intensive. And so basically, they export the abundant energy supply of theirs in the type of aluminum.)


Where does the power we use come from?


The largest single source of power humans use, globally, is petroleum. That is correct in the U.S. also, and has been after 1950. Petroleum is mainly used for transportation: We change it into gas as well as diesel which fuels automobiles, boats, trucks, along with other tools.


But transportation is not our main energy need – electrical energy is. About forty % of the power we use worldwide goes to making electrical energy. We produce electrical power in all sorts of ways: burning fossil fuels as coal, natural gas or maybe petroleum; splitting atoms in nuclear reactors; using the strength of rivers with dams; transforming sunshine and breeze straight into electrical energy with solar power panels and turbines.


In the U.S., coal fired power plants have been the main source of ours of electrical power for decades. But in the past several years, natural gas continues to be inexpensive as a result of the rise of the yet debatable practice of hydraulic fracturing, and fracking. As an outcome, natural gas fired power plants are poised to be the main energy source of ours.


The energy blend differs widely state to state. This particular animated gif reveals the best source of electrical energy produced within every state, and also just how it’s developed from 2000 to 2015 (make certain to view it change!):


 Get the data, notes along with source on Github


Be aware of the expansion of the retraction and natural gas of nuclear power and coal. Remember that this’s simply the electrical energy generated within each state. Electricity usually crosses state lines. In order to watch a map of which states are exporters as well as importers of power, check out Inside Energy’s earlier analysis.


Just how does the energy blend differ from country to country? The World Bank publishes details on the % of electrical energy generated from several energy resources (as of 2013):


Coal accounts for forty one percent of worldwide electricity generation; seventeen countries get much more than one half of the electricity of theirs from it, China, Poland, including Mongolia, Australia and India.

Natural gas accounts for twenty two percent of worldwide electricity generation; thirty one countries get much more than one half of the electricity of theirs from it, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Singapore, Tunisia, Belarus, including Qatar, Mexico and also the Netherlands.

Nuclear accounts for eleven % of worldwide electricity generation; 4 countries get much more than one half of the electricity of theirs from it, Slovak Republic, France, Hungary and Belgium.

Hydro accounts for sixteen percent of worldwide electricity generation; thirty seven countries get much more than one half of the electricity of theirs from it, Georgia, Ethiopia, Norway, including Nepal, Canada and Brazil.

Renewables, such as wind, geothermal and solar, account for five % of worldwide electricity generation. As of 2013, no nation received much more than one half of the electricity of its from non hydro renewables, though Denmark was extremely near, at forty six %.

No matter where you reside, the sources of energy of ours as well as uses are changing in significant ways. Our great-grandkids’ energy profile will probably be equally as unrecognizable to us as our great-grandparents’. A number of trends Inside Energy is keeping track of are if electric automobiles will edge out the combustion engine, the expansion of renewables, as well as the growing role information as well as info play in just how we utilize electricity.


As we move ahead into this brave, fresh, ever changing world of electricity, Inside Energy want to hear from you. What questions do you’ve about power? Submit the question of yours below, and also it might become the next animated video of ours.


What is Next?


Want a lot more power analogies? We attempted to make sense of just how big the energy consumption of ours is within this particular video about the Clean Power Plan.

Interesting to learn about why Iceland employs a lot of power? Take a look at this video by Brynjolfur (Binni) Olafsson.


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