Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Why you should not be hopeful for a clean energy future in one easy US Dept of Energy Graphic...

This is from an April 2013 report from the US Dept of Energy (HT: Carpe Diem).  The report is full of projections (always a dicey proposition) on energy production and consumption.

This one caught my eye and I have posted on this topic recently (here).  It shows energy consumption by source from 1980 to 2011 (black line in center) then projects out to the year 2040.

Look closely at 2011 levels of consumption and 2040's.  Natural gas on net replaces 2 percentage points of petroleum and coal essentially stays flat.

Renewables (Green section) and Biofuels (sliver of yellow) grows by 3 percentage points. As a percentage change that is pretty good (+38%) but for a time span of 27 years I am not sure that is impressive.

Even by the current Administrations reckoning we are going to be dependent on fossil fuels for our enormous  energy requirements for some time into the future.

When making energy policy seems like we should consider "what is" along with "what might be".  That would be sensible, right???

Source: Dept of Energy
Here is a different breakdown emphasizing the role coal, the dirtiest of the dirty energy source, will continue to play in the near and far term in keeping the lights on and powering our i-pads and other electricity dependent doo-dads.   Kinda depressing, isn't it???



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