Natural gas and oil in the United States of America

Energy consumption in the United States of America

The most important figure in the energy balance of United States of America is the total consumption of
3.898 trillion kWh
of electric energy per year. Per capita this is an average of 11,744 kWh.

The United States of America could be self-sufficient with domestically produced energy. The total production of all electric energy producing facilities is 4.0 tn kWh, which is 104 percent of the country's own usage. Despite this, the United States of America trades energy with foreign countries. Along with pure consumption, the production, imports and exports play an important role. Other energy sources, such as natural gas or crude oil are also used.

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Energy Balance

ElectricitytotalUnited States
per capita
per capita
Own consumption3.898 tn kWh11,744.38 kWh5,411.81 kWh
Production4.049 tn kWh12,198.66 kWh5,814.47 kWh
Import61.45 bn kWh185.15 kWh766.43 kWh
Export14.13 bn kWh42.59 kWh763.30 kWh

100.0% of the country's population (as of 2020) has access to electricity.
Crude OilBarrel/dayUnited States
per capita
per capita
Own consumption20.54 m bbl0.062 bbl0.024 bbl
Production17.92 m bbl0.054 bbl0.006 bbl
Import7.77 m bbl0.023 bbl0.020 bbl
Export2.05 m bbl0.006 bbl0.004 bbl

In 2020 there were still 47.11 bn barrels of recoverable but not yet used crude oil reserves in the currently known deposits of the United States. Worldwide, there are still proved oil reserves totaling around 1.7 tn billion barrels. The United States therefore has a share of 2.76% and ranks 10th out of 211 countries with crude oil reserves.

Natural GasCubic metersUnited States
per capita
per capita
Own consumption857.54 bn m³2,583.79 m³881.90 m³
Production967.14 bn m³2,914.02 m³383.11 m³
Import79.51 bn m³239.57 m³814.44 m³
Export188.40 bn m³567.66 m³301.61 m³

CO₂ emissions
in 2019
United States
per capita
per capita
total4.82 bn t14.67 t5.77 t
› of which diesel + gasoline2.383 tn t7,257.43 t3,218.83 t
› of which natural gas1.684 tn t5,129.01 t1,766.97 t
› of which coal1.078 tn t3,281.82 t1,439.23 t

Development of CO₂ emissions from 1960 to 2019 in million tons
See also: CO₂ equivalents by country

CO₂ emissions United States

Production capacities per energy source

The given production capacities for electric energy have a theoretical value, which can only be obtained under ideal conditions. They are measuring the generatable amount of energy, that would be reached under permanent and full use of all capacities of all power plants.

In practice this isn't possible, because e.g. solar collectors are less efficient under clouds. Also wind- and water-power plants are not always operating under full load. All these values are only useful in relation to other energy sources or countries.

Energy sourcetotal
in the United States
in the United States
per capita
in the United States
per capita
Fossil fuels5.999 tn kWh59,9 %35,9 %18,075.04 kWh0.76 kWh
Nuclear power1.953 tn kWh19,5 %20,9 %5,884.19 kWh0.44 kWh
Solar energy320.48 bn kWh3,2 %5,3 %965.61 kWh0.11 kWh
Wind power831.25 bn kWh8,3 %15,3 %2,504.55 kWh0.32 kWh
Water power701.05 bn kWh7,0 %15,2 %2,112.27 kWh0.32 kWh
Tidal Power Plants0.00 kWh0,0 %0,1 %0.00 kWh0.00 kWh
Geothermics40.06 bn kWh0,4 %0,3 %120.70 kWh0.01 kWh
Biomass170.26 bn kWh1,7 %7,1 %512.98 kWh0.15 kWh

Note: The sum of each data in this table adds up to 100.00 percent and may not be accurate. receives this data from the US Office of Public Affairs (CIA) and will not make any presumptuous changes to it.

Trend towards renewable energies

Worldwide, there is a clearly noticeable but slow shift towards renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, and also geothermal energy. Just 20 years ago, about half of the energy in the U.S. came from burning coal. While most European countries are switching to renewable energy, in the U.S., it has been replaced mainly by natural gas production — another fossil fuel. There are hardly any state subsidy programs for the use of renewable energy in the USA. Instead, individual states (especially California) decided to adopt regional subsidy policies. President Trump initially prioritized nuclear power and coal mining, but natural gas production became increasingly viable. Also, since the 1973 oil crisis, the fact that the oil and gas reserves located primarily in Texas will soon be depleted has been kept in mind.

In terms of wind and solar power, the U.S. has a significant advantage due to its geography. Large stretches of land in the interior are uninhabited and are suitable for large-scale photovoltaic and wind energy farms. In the sunny states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida and New Mexico, several energy companies have decided to shut down old coal-fired power plants rather than replace them with natural gas power plants. Instead, they are relying on huge wind and solar farms for cost reasons. Tucson Electric Power plans to close all coal-fired power plants by 2031. With over 300,000 terawatts of capacity, wind energy currently accounts for the largest share of renewable energy.

However, a problem, especially in the vast country of the United States, is the significant line losses that occur when electricity is transported through cables over hundreds or even thousands of kilometers. While steppes, deserts and salt lakes lend themselves to large-scale wind farms and power plants, consumers are located far away. Common overhead lines have a voltage of 380 kV over long distances. Depending on the distance between the lines and the insulation, there are still losses in the single-digit percentage range per 100 km.

Usage of renewable energies

Renewable energy includes wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy sources. This means all energy sources that renew themselves within a short time or are permanently available. Energy from hydropower is only partly a renewable energy. This is certainly the case with river or tidal power plants. Otherwise, numerous dams or reservoirs also produce mixed forms, e.g. by pumping water into their reservoirs at night and recovering energy from them during the day when there is an increased demand for electricity. Since it is not possible to clearly determine the amount of generated energy, all energy from hydropower is displayed separately.

In 2019, renewable energy accounted for around 10.4 percent of actual total consumption in the United States. The following chart shows the percentage share from 1990 to 2019:

Renewable energy United States
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