USA Energy Trends

Reposted from NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

JULY 2, 2021

By Paul Homewood

Joe Biden has pledged to totally decarbonise the US electricity system by 2035, and to cut emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030. But how does this stack up against what has actually been happening since 2005?

Let’s start by looking at emissions of carbon dioxide:

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Between 2005 and 2019, emissions fell by 15%. To hit Biden’s target would need a further cut of 41% from 2019 levels. Yet during Obama’s eight year tenure, he only managed to cut them by 11%.

Meanwhile primary energy consumption is on the rise again, and is back to 2008 levels.

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When we look at the energy mix, we find that renewable energy only provide for 6% of US energy consumption, a figure which has barely doubled since Obama took office, despite the billions in subsidies thrown at it.

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Indeed, the biggest change in the mix has been the switch from coal to gas. Since 2005, coal consumption has declined by 11.5 EJ a yea, whilst that of natural gas has increased by 9.1 EJ. It would appear that it is this switch that has been mostly responsible for emissions cuts. [If anybody would like to do the calculations, I would be grateful!]

What all of this is saying, of course, is that the chances of Biden hitting his 50% emissions cut by 2030 are almost non-existent.

As for the power sector, fossil fuels still account for 60% of generation, with reliable generation from nuclear and hydro adding another 20% and 7% respectively. In contrast, wind and solar stand at a pitiful 11%. It seems unlikely that much nuclear capacity will be left by 2030, given its age.

chart-3chart-3chart-3
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https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/browser/#/topic/0?agg=2,0,1&fuel=vtvv&geo=g&sec=g&linechart=ELEC.GEN.ALL-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.COW-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.NG-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.NUC-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.HYC-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.WND-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.TSN-US-99.A&columnchart=ELEC.GEN.ALL-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.COW-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.NG-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.NUC-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.HYC-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.WND-US-99.A&map=ELEC.GEN.ALL-US-99.A&freq=A&start=2001&end=2020&ctype=linechart&ltype=pin&rtype=s&maptype=0&rse=0&pin=

Quite how Biden proposes to replace that 80% currently produced by fossil fuels and nuclear with renewable energy within the next 15 years, he refuses to say.

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July 3, 2021 at 08:50AM

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