Apr 6, 2017

What fuels us

Data: U.S. Energy Information Administration Monthly Energy Review; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Want the high-level view on U.S. energy consumption? The U.S. Energy Information Administration has you covered. It's out with data showing total consumption ticked up slightly last year.

  • Fossil fuels: They still rule the roost, accounting for 81 percent of total consumption in 2016, which is slightly less than 2015 and down from 86 percent in 2005. Petroleum and natural gas consumption both climbed last year, but that was more than offset by coal's decline.
  • Renewables: They saw the largest boost in consumption last year as wind power generation rose by nearly 20 percent and solar output climbed a lot as well.
  • Nuclear: Consumption of nuclear energy rose 1 percent last year.

Want a really, really high-level view? Axios pulled years worth of EIA data into the chart above on U.S. energy consumption going back a quarter century. That downward staircase at the bottom illustrates how coal has lost market share at the expense of gas and renewables.

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