It is easy, with all that we hear about the rise of alternative energy in the U.S., to lose sight of one basic fact: In terms of real, everyday energy consumption in the U.S., fossil fuels still rule. In fact, so far in 2014, more than 90 percent of energy consumption in America has been supplied by oil, natural gas or coal.
According to the latest U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) numbers, non-fossil fuel energy accounted for about 9.25 percent of total American energy use in 2013. That in and of itself is probably surprising to many people, but if you dig a little deeper into the numbers, other surprising facts emerge.
Below is the year-to-date U.S. energy consumption by source, as of June 23.
The problem, you see, is that we are all inclined to judge the relevance of something by the amount of media coverage it receives. On that basis, renewable energy is simply huge! Whole oceans of ink and countless electrons around the Internet have been used up talking about the rise of wind and solar power. Naturally, we assume that they are currently leading the way and transforming energy consumption in America. Well, you know what they say about assumptions…