Americans consumed more about 97.4 quads of energy last year. (One quad, Q, equals 1 quadrillion Btus.) That was a 2.3-Q jump over energy use the previous year, according to analysts at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Dept. of Energy.
In terms of energy sources, wind energy increased the most, 18%, going from 1.35 Q in 2012 to 1.6 Q in 2013. Much of that growth is from larger wind turbines being installed at wind farms, with most averaging 2 to 2.5 MW of rated power. Nuclear energy use also grew slightly even though no new nuclear plants came on line. Researchers attribute the small jump to more nuclear plants being closed for refueling the previous year.
Most energy generated in the U.S., 59 Q, gets wasted and rejected to the atmosphere as heat. That’s a slight increase over the 58.1 Q of energy wasted in 2012.
Of the energy that was put to use, most (38.2 Q) went to generating electricity. Transportation consumed 27 Q, industry went through 24.7 Q, residential use ate up 11.4 Q, and commercial establishments consumed 8.59 Q.