During the month of August, Aii educated on the importance of energy resources to the nation and the world. Throughout the month, we highlighted the seven primary natural and energy resources used to generate electricity in the United States. New content and briefs were uploaded to this page throughout Energy Month. Stay tuned for next year as we refresh the page with the latest available data for 2022.
America generates energy from a number of sources. At its most basic level each source – except for solar panels – turns a turbine to generate electricity. That power is then fed into the electrical grid to be distributed to homes and businesses. America consumes 4 trillion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year (equivalent to 4,000 terawatt hours). The energy mix to generate this electricity is a blend of public policy and private action. The primary resources used to generate that power comes from Natural Gas, Nuclear Fission, Coal, Wind, Hydropower, Solar, Petroleum, and Geothermal. Many of these are also used directly for certain industrial processes, heating, cooking, transportation fuels, and other energy needs well beyond electricity.
The utilization of these resources have changed over the course of history, with some experiencing sharp declines in popularity and others remaining steady sources. We’ve put together a policy brief series outlining eight key factors that shape the current and future utilization of each resource for American energy needs. To help build a comprehensive picture of the nation’s energy outlook, these briefs examine energy density, costs to generate energy, availability and reserves, land required to generate energy, overall safety record, climate impact, long-term impact, and potential limitations of the energy source. For Energy Month this year, we’ve added new One-Pagers, an Energy Spotlight brief, and insightful expert interviews!