Another Look at U.S Energy Consumption
Well, after yesterday’s comparison of Texas and California, which are at the opposite ends of the spectrum regarding energy consumption per person per year, I thought I’d take it a bit further.
Here is a ranked list of 49 of the 50 states (missing Hawaii and Washington D.C. at the moment): Energy per capita with other factors, US 2009
The average for the entire U.S. was 308 mbtus (million British Thermal Units) per person per year for 2009. That compares favorably with Canada (427 mbtus per capita) but not so well with Germany (250 mbtus).
However, there is more variation found within the United States than between the U.S. and other developed countries. New York has per capita energy consumption of 196 mbtus. Wyoming has consumption of 956 mbtus, higher than Kuwait, Qatar…
Because Germany is a well-developed, high infrastructure country that even has autobahns without speed limits, I think they could serve as a goal for U.S. energy efficiency enthusiasts such as myself. So it’s nice to begin this with the observation that nine U.S. states (Maryland, Florida, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York) all have already achieved this target.
And there are really only 13 states with per capita energy consumption above 400 mbtus (Wyoming, Alaska, Louisiana, North Dakota, Iowa, Texas, South Dakota, Kentucky, Nebraska, Montana, Indiana, Alabama and Oklahoma).
There are some other points of interest:
- The median household income for the 13 worst states is $46,816. The median household income for the 9 best performing states is $58,016. Those who say that rising incomes lower energy consumption may have a point, although it could be that wealthier people prefer Connecticut to North Dakota…
- The average population density per square mile for the 13 worst states is 58.3. The average population density per square mile for the 9 top performers is 488. Urbanization is the environment’s best friend.
- The average insolation (a measurement of how much sunlight an area receives) for the 13 worst states is 3.97. The average insolation for the 9 best performing states is 4.21.
- The average residential electricity rates in the 13 worst states in 2010 was 9.85 cents per kilowatt hour. The average residential electricity rates in the 9 best performing states in 2010 was 15.29 cents per kilowatt hour. Incentive to conserve…
Have a look at the data and let me know what else you find that’s interesting.
|State||Population density (2011)||Energy consumption per capita||Detached Housing||Median Income||Ave. Insolation|
|88.08 inhabitants per square mile (34.01 /km2)||308|
3000 Quads is about energy for the 21st century. The world’s population is now estimated to peak at between 9 and 10 billion people somewhere around 2075. If they use energy at the same rate as the average American, they will consume 3,000 quadrillion btus. That isn’t written in stone–the Danes use half as much energy per person as Americans and they have a pretty good life. The developing world could aim for a Danish lifestyle instead of Yankee over-exuberance. But if it comes to pass, then we face a dilemma. If most of that energy is provided by burning coal, we face something close to disaster. My name is Tom Fuller. I work at a solar power company called Sungevity, a premiere provider of solar power to homeowners in the United States.
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