Even though there has been a very slow economic growth in the United States in the recent years, there has been a steady rise in the energy production sector. In fact, the oil production in the United States experienced a significant increase of 992, 000 barrels per day in 2013 according to the International Energy Agency estimates. This placed the US’s oil production at 7. 5 million barrels per day. One, thing that should be noted is that this increase in production has also led to an upward trend in consumption.
The major sources of energy that are produced in the United States are petroleum (oil), natural gas, coal, nuclear and renewable energy. Electricity is classified as a secondary source that is mainly generated from the major sources.
Fossil fuels are the largest generators of US energy, meaning that they are the ones that are produced in large amounts.
Coal for instance, accounted for almost 37% of the total electricity generated in the United States in 2012.
Natural gas on the other hand, is yet another source of energy that is largely produced in America. It is burnt to produce steam through water heating. Besides, it can also be used in the production of hot combustion gases that are passed through turbines to generate electricity. These gas turbines are very common especially when there is a high demand in electricity. Natural gas was responsible for fueling 30% of the total electricity in the US in 2012.
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Petroleum too can be burnt to produce hot combustion gases that are used in propelling turbines. Petroleum is an important energy source that is used in generating steam in most electric plants. However, it was not very successful since it only generated barely 1% of the total electricity in the US in 2012.
About one fifth of the US electricity comes from nuclear power. Nuclear power refers to a method through which steam is produced by a process known as nuclear fission. In 2012, nuclear power was used for the generation of approximately 19% of the total electricity in the United States.
Renewable energy sources account for the rest of the energy produced in the United States. Hydro; electricity generated from water is the largest one among the renewable energy sources followed by biomass, wind power, geothermal power and solar power. In 2012, hydropower accounted for 7% with the others displaying very dismal percentages. Among these, wind power has demonstrated a significant increase since the 1970s even though it currently accounts for barely 3% of the total electricity produced in the United States.
Going by the latest statistics, the US has experienced a 46% increase in oil production over the last three years. The steady increase in America’s oil production has been experienced in the past five years consecutively. This has been attributed to the enhanced shale oil production. There are prospects that the rise would continue to take effect in 2014 and even the years to come.
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