How do energy and emissions in the United States compare to the rest of the world?
Energy & Emissions
In 2021, 79% of US energy consumption was from fossil fuels, 8.4% was from nuclear, and 12.5% was from renewable sources. The share of energy consumption from nuclear and renewable sources combined has more than doubled since 1980.
Coal provides a decreasing share of US energy, from about 20% of energy consumption in 1980 to about 11% in 2021. Natural gas, which produces half as much carbon dioxide per unit of energy as coal, is a growing fossil fuel energy source, about 32% of US energy consumption in 2021.
In 2019, 55.1% of New Hampshire’s energy consumption was from renewable and nuclear, the highest nationwide. South Carolina was second, with 45.8%.
The median state, Michigan, consumes 20.4% of its energy from renewable or nuclear sources. Wyoming and Louisiana consume the most total energy per person, at 942.5 million and 919.3 million BTU per 1,000 residents, respectively.
Transportation was the largest source of US emissions in 2020. It surpassed electricity generation emissions in 2017.
Transportation and electricity generation combined create more than half of all US emissions, and almost entirely through carbon-dioxide-producing fossil fuel combustion. Industrial activity is about 24% of all emissions. Industrial activity contributes to emissions via fossil fuel combustion, natural gas, chemical production, and fluorinated gases.