Energy & Emissions

Fossil fuels account for 79% of US energy consumption. The share of energy consumption from nuclear and renewable sources has doubled since 1980 to 21% in 2020.

Coal provides a decreasing share of US energy. Natural gas, which produces half as much carbon dioxide per unit of energy as coal, is a growing fossil fuel energy source.

Energy & Emissions

Forty-two percent of US renewable and nuclear energy consumption is from nuclear sources, followed by 23% from biomass like wood and biofuels.

Wind and solar energy grew over the past decade and are a combined 21% of renewable and nuclear energy consumption.

Energy & Emissions

In 2018, the US ranked fifth among the world’s 10 largest economies for its proportion of energy consumption coming from renewable and nuclear energy.

In 12 countries, renewable and nuclear sources comprise more than half of energy consumed, including Bhutan (80%), Iceland (77%), and Paraguay (77%).

Energy & Emissions

In 2018, 51.6% of Washington's energy consumption was from renewable and nuclear, the highest nationwide. New Hampshire was second, with 51.5%.

The median state, Michigan, consumes 19%. Wyoming and Louisiana consume the most total energy per person, at 967 million and 945 million BTU per capita, respectively.

While there are greenhouse gas emissions from methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases, carbon dioxide made up 80% of all 2019 emissions and is best represented in comparative data.

Energy & Emissions

The US emitted 5.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2018, making up 15% of the world’s emissions.

In 1980, the US emitted 25% of global carbon dioxide emissions. It’s produced 20% of the world’s total emissions since 1980.

Energy & Emissions

Transportation is the largest source of US emissions, surpassing electricity generation in 2017.

Transportation and electricity generation almost entirely contribute to emissions through fossil fuel combustion that produces carbon dioxide. Industrial activity contributes to emissions in various ways including fossil fuel combustion, natural gas, chemical production, fluorinated gases.

Energy & Emissions

The US emitted 16.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide per person in 2018, ranking 3rd among the world’s top 15 gross emitters.

Adjusting for GDP, the US ranks 8th among the world’s top 15 gross emitters, emitting 270 metric tons of carbon dioxide per $1 million in GDP.

Energy & Emissions

The average American generated 4.9 lbs of solid trash (food waste, paper, etc.) daily in 2018, up from 3.7 lbs per day in 1980.

However, 32.1% of waste in 2018 was recycled or composted, up from 14.5% in 1980.

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