U.S. Energy Consumption - Statistics & Facts

As emerging countries continue to grow rapidly, the world’s total energy demand continues to rise. The growing demand is largely covered by fossil fuels, namely petroleum, coal and natural gas. Those fuels, however, are finite resources, and burning them emits large amounts of pollutants that contribute to climate change. As of 2016, China was one of the largest primary energy consumers in the world, consuming over 3 billion metric tons of oil equivalent. In several developing countries, energy consumption growth continues, while in some other regions, like North America and Europe, energy consumption has decreased. Meanwhile, many countries have begun moving towards renewable energy sources as they become more cost-effective.

In the United States, total primary energy consumption has been relatively constant for the past 10 years. The primary energy consumed in the United States comes from various sources. In 2017, the U.S. consumed around 36 quadrillion British thermal units of energy derived from petroleum, some 28 quadrillion British thermal units of energy derived from natural gas, about 14 quadrillion British thermal units of energy derived from coal and a little over eight quadrillion British thermal units of energy from nuclear energy sources. It is expected that the amount of energy derived from renewable sources will rise in the future, but it will likely take decades until renewable sources can replace fossil fuels to a considerable extent.

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