Fossil fuel energy primary consumption - United States by sector 1990-2019

This statistic illustrates the primary consumption of energy derived from fossil fuels in the United States between 1990 and 2019, with a breakdown by sector. In 2019, around 4.51 quadrillion British thermal units of energy were consumed in the U.S. commercial sector.

Consumption of fossil fuels in the United States

Recently, the transportation sector and electric power sector consumed more than half of the fossil fuel-produced energy in the United States, totaling 26.8 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) and 23.3 quadrillion Btu, respectively. The popularity of fossil fuels skyrocketed during the Industrial Revolution, where coal was used to fuel steam locomotives due to a lack of firewood and charcoal. Since then, like many regions around the world, the United States has remained heavily reliant on energy derived from fossil fuels. Fossil fuel consumption has risen since 1985, from 66.09 quadrillion Btu to 80.15 quadrillion Btu in 2019.

However, the energy industry is experiencing the beginnings of a paradigm shift towards energy sources that can be replenished naturally. Renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind, are becoming cheaper and more advanced which has led to increased demands in the country. In 2018, some 2.5 quadrillion Btu of energy consumed by the industrial sector were from renewable sources.

The process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has become more popular in the United States. Shale gas production has risen immensely from 0.3 trillion cubic feet in 2000 to 18.4 trillion cubic feet in 2018. However, this technique to obtain natural gas and petroleum has been heavily scrutinized by international communities due to its potential environmental and human health hazards.

Fossil fuel energy primary consumption in the U.S. from 1990 to 2019, by sector (in trillion British thermal units)*

Exclusive Premium statistic

You need a Single Account for unlimited access.

  • Full access to 1m statistics

  • Incl. source references

  • Available to download in PNG, PDF, XLS format

Single Account

$39 $59 per month *
in the first 12 months
33% Discount until June 30th
*Duration: 12 months, billed annually, single license

Access to this and all other statistics on 80,000 topics from

$468 / Year
$708 / Year

Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in

Release date

March 2020


United States

Survey time period

1990 to 2019

Supplementary notes

* Natural gas excluding the estimated portion of supplemental gaseous fuels; for petroleum, product supplied is used as an approximation of petroleum consumption.

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $468 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.
This statistic is not included in your account.

Single Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references
$59 $39 / Month *
in the first 12 months
Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract; Prices do not include sales tax.

Statistics on "Fossil fuel consumption in the United States"

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $468 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.