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Oct. 29, 2010: U.S. Energy Consumption Up 2.7 Percent for First Half of 2010

October 29, 2010
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WASHINGTON - United States energy consumption increased by 2.7 percent for the first two quarters of 2010, relative to the first two quarters of 2009, according to U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA’s Monthly Energy Review states that U.S. energy consumption totaled 48.8 quadrillion Btu (quads) for the first half of 2010, compared to 47.5 quads for the first half of 2009. But because U.S. energy use dipped sharply in 2009, the nation’s energy use is still 3.9 percent less than the levels set in the first half of 2008.

The first-half growth in energy use closely tracks the first-half growth in U.S. economic activity. Figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce show that the real gross domestic product (GDP) for the first and second quarter of 2010 increased by 2.4 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively, compared to the same quarter in 2009, for a half-year average growth of 2.7 percent.

Renewable energy consumption has also continued to increase, with consumption in the first half of 2010 up 4.7 percent relative to the first half of 2009. According to the EIA report, the United States consumed 4.091 quads of renewable energy in the first half of the year, which means that renewable energy supplied about 8.4 percent of the nation’s energy needs. With some areas of the country facing droughts, year-to-year hydropower production was down by 8 percent for the first half of 2010, while the consumption of wind power was up by 21.4 percent and biomass energy from wood and wood-derived fuels was up by 4.9 percent. Year-to-year ethanol consumption was up by 23.4 percent for the first half of the year, while biodiesel recovered from last year’s slump, increasing 18.9 percent relative to the first half of 2009 and 4.7 percent relative to the first half of 2008.

Publication date: 10/25/2010

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