in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

Americans used less energy in 2011 than in 2010, but they consumed more wind power than in the previous year, finds a new report from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

The decrease in overall energy consumption was due mainly to a shift to higher-efficiency energy technologies in the transportation and residential sectors, LLNL says. Overall, U.S. energy use in 2011 equaled 97.3 quadrillion Btus (quads), compared to 98 quads used in 2010.

Most of the energy was tied to coal, natural gas and petroleum. However, wind power saw the biggest consumption jump, increasing from 0.92 quadrillion Btus (quads) in 2010 to 1.17 quads in 2011. Meanwhile, less coal was used, but more natural gas was consumed, LLNL notes.

Much of the increase in wind energy consumption came from new wind projects entering operation in the rush to qualify for the production tax credit’s in-service deadline, which is Dec. 31.

"Wind energy jumped significantly because, as in previous years, many new wind farms came online," says A.J. Simon, an LLNL energy systems analyst. "This is the result of sustained investment in wind power."

Hydroelectricity also saw an increase, jumping from 2.51 quads in 2010 to 3.17 quads in 2011. According to LLNL, hydroelectricity jumped significantly in 2011 because the year saw large amounts of precipitation in the western U.S., and hydroelectric dams were able to produce at their maximum levels while keeping reservoirs full.

From 2010 to 2011, the use of coal fell dramatically, the use of oil (petroleum) fell slightly and the use of natural gas increased slightly, from 24.65 quads in 2010 to 26.9 quads in 2011.


IowaDeptEconDevel_id1863

Helukabel_id1908
Latest Top Stories

Kansas Renewables Mandate Survives Yet Another Attack, But Is It Too Early To Celebrate?

Over the past three years, some legislators have tried to either weaken or repeal the state's renewable portfolio standard, which requires Kansas utilities to reach 20% renewables by 2020.


AWEA Highlights U.S. Wind Success Stories Of 2013

Despite a 92% drop in new capacity last year, the sector still has myriad reasons to celebrate, according to a new report from the American Wind Energy Association.


Feds List New Bird Species As Threatened - Should Wind Developers Be Worried?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is designating the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. An expert explains how this might affect the wind industry.


Senate Committee Passes Bill With Two-Year PTC Extension

The Senate Finance Committee has voted on a tax extenders package, which includes both the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit, and sent it to the floor.


Five Common Gearbox Failures And How To Identify Them

Wind turbine gearbox failures are a major source of unplanned maintenance costs. An expert explains the most frequent failure modes and offers prevention tips.

WomenofWind_id
JLG_id1900
UEA_id1896
Acciona_id1907
AWEA_id1886
bonfiglioli_id1913