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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