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An outlook on the US energy mix

World Coal,

For more than 100 yr, three fossil fuels – coal, petroleum and natural gas – have made up at least 80% of total US energy consumption.

Although there have been shifts between the amount of consumption for each fossil fuel, the high proportion of use of all three energy sources is expected to continue into the future, according to the US Energy Information Agency.

In the US, coal became dominant in the late 19th century before being overtaken by petroleum products in the middle of the 20th century, at the same time the use of natural gas also increased quickly. Since the mid-20th century, use of coal increased again (primarily as a key energy source for electric power generation), and nuclear electric power surfaced.

In recent years, petroleum consumption has declined, but natural gas has continued to provide a greater share of US energy consumption. In the late 1980s, renewable energy consumption emerged, increasing notably in the mid-2000s.

In 2014, the renewable share of energy consumption in the US was nearly 10%. Renewable energy is a small but growing energy source in the US. The largest growth in renewables today is in solar and wind power.

Edited from Source: The US Energy Information Agency.

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