[CAMWEST-discuss] Fw: Energy Economist: Energy Security / Policy #2 - April 13, 2011 2

Danny Hannan danny_hannan at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 16 02:11:38 UTC 2011

G'day all,
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.

Big Picture

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.
 Petroleum Report

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 
update tonight.
U.S. Energy Consumption by Primary Fuel (Quadrillion Btu / Year)

 1949  1978  2010  1949 -2010 
 1949 -1978 

 Quads Quads Change
 Avg. Annual
 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 
power lunch.

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
To unsubscribe email jlwilliams at eneryeconomist.com with unsubscribein the 
subject line. 

Copyright © 2011
James L. Williams 
WTRG Economics 
(479) 293-4081 
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