EIA: U.S. Energy Consumption Up 2.7% for First Half of 2010
October 13, 2010
U.S. energy consumption increased by 2.7% for the first two quarters of 2010, relative to the first two quarters of 2009, according to DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA's "Monthly Energy Review," issued on September 30, finds 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% 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 on September 30 show that the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first and second quarter of 2010 increased by 2.4% and 3.0%, respectively, compared to the same quarter in 2009, for a half-year average growth of 2.7%. See Table 1.1 in the "Energy Overview" section of the "Monthly Energy Review" and Table 8 in the press release from the Commerce Departments' Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Renewable energy consumption has also continued to increase, with consumption in the first half of 2010 up 4.7% 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% of the nation's energy needs. With some areas of the country facing droughts, year-to-year hydropower production was down by 8% for the first half of 2010, while the consumption of wind power was up by 21.4% and biomass energy from wood and wood-derived fuels was up by 4.9%. Year-to-year ethanol consumption was up by 23.4% for the first half of the year, while biodiesel recovered from last year's slump, increasing 18.9% relative to the first half of 2009 and 4.7% relative to the first half of 2008. See the "Renewable Energy" section of the EIA's "Monthly Energy Review."