LIVERMORE, Calif., Nov. 9 (UPI) — U.S. energy use went back up in 2010 compared with 2009, which hit a 12-year low in consumption, with most of the increase in fossil fuels, a report said.
Electricity from renewable resources remained fairly constant with an increase in wind power offset by a modest decline in hydroelectricity, the report by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said.
Wind power jumped from 0.70 quadrillion BTU, or quads, in 2009 to 0.92 quads in 2010. (A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is a unit of measurement for energy).
Biomass energy consumption, mostly in ethanol, rose from 3.88 quads to 4.29 quads, the report said.
“We are still seeing the capacity additions from a wind energy boom come online,” said A.J. Simon, an energy systems analyst at the laboratory who studied data provided by the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration. “And renewable fuel mandates are driving the consumption of ethanol by cars and trucks.”
The majority of energy resources were used in 2010 for electricity generation, followed by transportation, industrial, residential and commercial consumption.
“This is just a snapshot of how the energy system was used,” Simon said. “Although it doesn’t appear to change much from year-to-year, even small shifts can have big consequences for certain sectors of our economy.”