Report: U.S. consumed more energy in 2018 than ever before |

Report: U.S. consumed more energy in 2018 than ever before

Stephen Huba
Tribune-Review File
The Beaver Valley Power Station, a nuclear power plant in Shippingport, Beaver County.

The United States consumed more energy in 2018 than ever before, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday.

Primary energy consumption in the U.S. reached a record high of 101.3 quadrillion British thermal units in 2018, up 4% from 2017 and 0.3% above the previous record set in 2007. The increase in 2018 was the largest increase in energy consumption, in both absolute and percentage terms, since 2010, the EIA said.

Consumption of fossil fuels — petroleum, natural gas and coal — grew by 4% in 2018 and accounted for 80% of U.S. total energy consumption, the EIA said. Natural gas consumption reached a record high, rising by 10% from 2017.

The increase in natural gas, along with relatively smaller increases in the consumption of petroleum fuels, renewable energy and nuclear electric power, more than offset a 4% decline in coal consumption, the EIA said.

The 2018 report included a breakdown by energy sector:

  • Petroleum consumption was driven primarily by increased use in the industrial sector, which grew by about 200,000 barrels per day in 2018.
  • Natural gas consumption was driven primarily by weather-related factors that increased demand for space heating during the winter and for air conditioning during the summer.
  • Coal consumption fell to 688 million short tons, the fifth consecutive year of decline. Coal-fired power plants continued to be displaced by newer, more efficient natural gas and renewable power generation sources.
  • Renewable energy consumption rose 3% from 2017, largely driven by the addition of new wind and solar power plants.
  • Nuclear consumption increased less than 1% compared to 2017, but still set a record for electricity generation in 2018.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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