What are the major sources and users of energy in the United States?

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Total primary energy use in the United States in 2017 by source and sector. Image Credit: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Information on this page was collected from the source acknowledged below:

Energy Information Administration's "Energy Explained" series: Energy in the United States and How the United States Uses Energy

Energy Sources in the United States

"The three major fossil fuels—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—combined accounted for about 77.6% of the U.S. primary energy production in 2017:

  • Natural gas: 31.8%
  • Petroleum (crude oil and natural gas plant liquids): 28%
  • Coal: 17.8%
  • Renewable energy: 12.7%
  • Nuclear electric power: 9.6%"

Energy Uses in the United States

"The United States is a highly developed and industrialized society. Americans use a lot of energy in homes, in businesses, and in industry. Americans also use energy for personal travel and for transporting goods. There are five energy consuming sectors:

  • The industrial sector [32% of all energy consumption, including electricity] includes facilities and equipment used for manufacturing, agriculture, mining, and construction.
  • The transportation sector [29% of all energy consumption, including electricity] includes vehicles that transport people or goods, such as cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, trains, aircraft, boats, barges, and ships.
  • The residential sector [20% of all energy consumption, including electricity] consists of homes and apartments.
  • The commercial sector [18% of all energy consumption, including electricity] includes offices, malls, stores, schools, hospitals, hotels, warehouses, restaurants, and places of worship and public assembly.
  • The electric power sector consumes primary energy to generate most of the electricity consumed by the other four sectors."

Read more at the Energy Information Administration's "Energy Explained" website.

Learn More:

  • Our Energy System (Interactive Diagram), The National Academies
    Visualization of the energy sources that are used in the United States, including solar, nuclear, hydro, wind, geothermal, natural gas, coal, biomass, and oil. Shows how much of each primary energy source is used, how much goes toward making electricity, and which sectors use each energy source.
  • Monthly Energy Review (Data), Energy Information Administration
    Monthly statistics on energy production and consumption for petroleum, natural gas, coal, electricity (from renewable and non-renewable sources), nuclear energy, and renewable sources. Also includes statistics on emissions by energy source.
  • International Energy Outlook (Report), Energy Information Administration
    Annual report on the sources and uses of energy around the world, including projections of future usage.
  • International Energy Production and Consumption (Web Tool), International Energy Agency
    Flow ("Sankey") diagram showing the production (by source) and consumption (by sector) of energy, globally and by individual country, every year since 1973.