Friday, August 27, 2010

U.S. energy consumption declined in 2009

The estimated U.S. energy use in 2009 equaled 94.6 quadrillion BTUs ("quads"), down from 99.2 quadrillion BTUs in 2008.
A BTU or British Thermal Unit is a unit of measurement for energy, and is equivalent to about 1.055 kilojoules, or about the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
For comparison, one kilowatt-hour (kWh) equals about 3,400 BTUs, with a typical American household consuming some 11,000 kWh per year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Energy use in the residential, commercial, industrial and transportation arenas all declined by 0.22, 0.09, 2.16 and 0.88 quads, respectively.
Wind power increased dramatically in 2009 to 0.70 quads of primary energy compared with 0.51 in 2008. Most of the wind energy is tied directly to electricity generation and thus helps decrease the use of coal for electricity production.

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