The US in 2013 used more of every kind of energy, from fossil fuels to the clean, renewable kind, according to the latest annual energy flow analysis from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
In all, the nation consumed 2.3 quadrillion BTUs (British thermal units) more energy in 2013 than it did in 2012. It also pumped out more carbon dioxide emissions than the year before: a total of 5,390 million metric tons, which is the first annual increase since 2010.
Of the total 97.4 quadrillion BTUs consumed in the US in 2013, the largest portion — 38.2 quadrillion BTUs — was for electricity generation. After that, consumption was dominated by transportation, industrial, residential and commercial uses.
Rejected, or wasted, energy also increased, rising to 59 quadrillion BTUs in 2013 compared to 58.1 quadrillion BTUs in 2012.
“Not all of the energy that we consume is put to use,” said A.J. Simon, group leader for energy at the laboratory. “Heat you feel when you put your hand on your water heater and the warm exhaust from your car’s tailpipe are examples of rejected energy.”
Comparing energy services to rejected energy gives a rough estimate of each sector’s energy efficiency.