[CAMWEST-discuss] Fw: Energy Economist: Energy Security / Policy #2 - April 13, 2011 2
danny_hannan at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 16 12:11:38 EST 2011
For energy buffs like myself this is an interesting article.
Note that only 8% of the US of A's energy comes from renewable sources and that
wind, solar and geothermal, the only expandable renewable sources make up only
1.5% of the US primary energy. Nuclear provides 8.6% but from mostly old
reactors, that are soon to be decommissioned.
Within 50 years the US needs to multiply its renewable energy production by a
factor of at least 30 times just to have 50% of its current energy production.
Fossil fuels both globally and in the US will be mostly depleted by 2060 which
makes producing more energy infrastructure (renewable or nuclear) almost
While Australia is a little better off with coal, we are largely in the same
boat as the USA and much worse off for liquid fuels.
I fear for my children's and grandchildren's future.
danny_hannan at yahoo.com
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: James Williams <wtrgecon at centurytel.net>
To: jlwiliams at energyeconomist.com
Sent: Thu, 14 April, 2011 5:09:00 AM
Subject: Energy Economist: Energy Security / Policy #2 - April 13, 2011 2
Energy Economist: Energy Security / Policy #2 - April 13, 2011
Issued 2-3 times per week. EnergyEconomist
If you have trouble viewing the graphs in this report go to theon line report
Energy Policy - Fuel Use Background
The first newsletter in this series was a broad overview of petroleum supply,
consumption and imports. We found that consumption first peaked in 1978 falling
almost 20% between 1978 and 1983 and took to decades to return to the 1978 peak.
We also found that the residential, commercial, industrial and electric power
sectors all consume less petroleum today than they did in 1978. The only sector
that uses more petroleum today than it did in 1978 is the transportation sector,
which is responsible for all of the growth over the last three decades.
Today we look at the big picture with an overview of all fuel use in the post
World War Two era. Today look at the ultimate source of energy (primary fuel) to
the consumer coal, natural gas, petroleum, nuclear, hydroelectric, biomass,
solar, geothermal and wind. Later when we look at consumption by sector, we
will also look at the form of energy delivered to the consumer. The difference
between the form and the primary fuel is in electric power consumption.
All sectors use electricity, but electricity is a medium through which energy
from primary fuels is delivered. It is not the source of the energy. For
example, the household that uses natural gas for heating effectively consumes
more natural gas than is indicated on the bill from the gas company. To find the
household's natural gas footprint in terms of primary fuel it is necessary to
add the portion of their electricity that is generated by natural gas and to the
volume seen on the gas bill.
Since 1949, total U.S. energy consumption increased 66,000 quadrillion Btu(207%)
from 32,000 quadrillion Btu to 98,000 quads. From our reference year of 1978
when petroleum consumption first peaked, total energy consumption is up a modest
18,000 quads in 32 years compared to 48,000 quads in the 29 years from 1949 to
In the table below, we show the three reference years of 1949, 1978 and 2010 and
the change in energy use between the various periods. We have expressed the
percentage changes as average annual rates for easier comparison.
Several things in the table jump out at you. First the annual growth rate over
the entire period was only 1.9%. Second, most of the increase (in Quads and
annual rates) occurred between 1949 and 1978. That period had an annual growth
rate of 3.2%, but in the period starting in 1978 the growth rate was a modest
0.6% a year.
The petroleum data from the EIA in this week's release has some interesting
anomalies. Among then was a 7.0 million barrel drop in gasoline stocks. This is
not as bullish as it appears on the surface. We will explain in the petroleum
U.S. Energy Consumption by Primary Fuel (Quadrillion Btu / Year)
1949 1978 2010 1949 -2010
Quads Quads Change
Change Avg. Annual
Growth Change Avg. Annual
Total 31,982 79,986 97,953 65,971 1.9% 48,005 3.2% 17,966 0.6%
Coal 11,981 13,766 20,707 8,726 0.9% 1,785 0.5% 6,941 1.3%
Natural Gas 5,145 20,000 24,667 19,522 2.6% 14,855 4.8% 4,667 0.7%
Petroleum 11,883 37,965 35,970 24,088 1.8% 26,083 4.1% (1,995) -0.2%
Nuclear 0 3,024 8,441 8,441 N.M. 3,024 N.M. 5,417 3.3%
Solar 0 0 113 113 N.M. 0 N.M. 113 N.M.
Biomass 1,549 2,038 4,238 2,689 1.7% 488 0.9% 2,201 2.3%
Hydroelectric 1,425 2,937 2,509 1,084 0.9% 1,512 2.5% (428) -0.5%
Geothermal 0 64 383 383 N.M. 64 N.M. 319 5.7%
Wind 0 0 924 924 N.M. 0 N.M. 924 N.M.
Over the entire period for the energy sources that existed in 1949, the highest
growth rate was in natural gas at 2.6%, followed by petroleum at 1.8%. In the
first period, from 1949 to 1978 the rate of growth was 4.8% in natural gas and
4.1% in petroleum use.
In the second period from 1978 to 2010, the picture is very different. Remember,
the overall growth rate was 0.6% per year with an absolute increase of 17,966
quads. In absolute terms the greatest growth was in coal which added 6,900
quads, followed by nuclear with 5,417, and natural gas with 4,667. Biomass
added 2,201 quads. On a Btu basis, petroleum consumption in 2010 was lower than
1978 by 1,995 quads. That's a nice piece of trivia to throwout at your next
The market share of the various energy sources has changed significantly. Coal
provided 37.5% of all energy in 1949 falling to 17.3% in 1978, but rising to
21.1% in 2010. In contrast, petroleum's share rose from 37.1% in 1949 to 47.6%
in 1978 before falling to 36.7% in 2010. In the period to 1978, part of coal's
loss and petroleum's gain was due to fuel switching from coal to petroleum in
the residential and commercial sectors. The reverse was true between 1978 and
2010, because of indirect use of coal in electric power consumed by these two
sectors. In the second period nuclear power becomes a major contributor.
We will look a fuel switching in detail later in the series as we examine the
direct and indirect fuel consumption on a sector by sector basis.
NYMEX Prices for April 12, 2011
NYMEX Light Sweet Crude -3.67
ICE Brent -3.06
RBOB Gasoline NY Harbor -0.0364 $3.1641
Heating Oil NY Harbor -0.0799
NYMEX Natural Gas -0.010
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Copyright © 2011
James L. Williams
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