Last week, I wrote about some of the wonderful tidbits from Anirban Basu’s presentation to the Board. One of them was that by 2020, the US would be the leading producer of oil in the world. Currently, we are third behind Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Today, I saw the attached chart that depicted energy consumption in the U.S. from 1980 to the present and projected to 2035. What is interesting is that consumption of fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas) will fall only six percent by 2035, while renewable energy (wood, waste, solar, geothermal, wind, nuclear and hydroelectric) will grow only slightly. Renewable energy will provide less than 11% of the total energy demand for the U.S. by 2035. Currently, fossil fuel consumption is about 83%. Some of you may remember in 1977 when the U.S. Energy Department was formed under the premise to find alternate sources of energy? In 1950, our renewable energy consumption was only slightly lower than it is today at around 10%; yet, how much has been invested in the development of renewable energy sources since 1977? Billions and billions of dollars have been invested in finding new sources of renewable energy through direct allocations, tax incentives, grants, awards, loan guarantees and subsidies. For 2012, the Department of Energy received $2 billion to identify new sources of renewable energy, focusing on geothermal, solar, hydroelectric and biofuels. So, the waste of tax dollars continues on failed strategies to bolster the sources and use of renewable energy. Like it or not, hydrocarbon energy is still a major part of our future and will continue to power our economy for years to come.