WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2015 -
Petroleum, natural gas and coal dominated the U.S. energy mix for more than 100
years and are still the largest sources of energy production. However, consumers
are relying more on renewable energy sources than ever, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Here are some highlights of the EIA report on
how energy sources are changing:
-In 2014, total renewable energy production and consumption
reached record highs of nearly 10 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) each.
Hydroelectric power production in 2014 was about 6 percent below the 50-year
average, but increases in production from all other renewable sources boosted the
overall total contribution of renewable energy. Production of energy from wind
and solar were at record highs in 2014.
-In 2014, natural gas production was
higher than in any previous year. More efficient and cost-effective drilling
and production techniques have resulted in increased production of natural gas
from shale formations.
-Total U.S. crude oil production generally
decreased each year from a peak in 1970, but the trend reversed in 2010. In
2014, crude oil production was the highest since 1986. These increases were the
result of increased use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing
techniques, most notably in North Dakota and Texas.
-Natural gas plant liquids (NGPL) are hydrocarbons
that are separated as liquids from natural gas at processing plants. They are
important ingredients for manufacturing plastics and gasoline. Propane is the
only NGPL that is widely used for heating and cooking. Production of NGPL
fluctuates with natural gas production, but the NGPL share of total U.S. crude
oil and petroleum field production increased from 8 percent in 1950 to 26
percent in 2014.
-The share of coal produced from surface mines increased significantly
from 25 percent in 1949, to 51 percent in 1971, to 65 percent in 2013. The
remaining share of coal was produced from underground mines.
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