Environmental Science 102
Energy Sources and Production

Do You Know From Where Your Energy Comes?

Many Americans are ignorant of how much energy is used, how energy is produced, and sources of energy.
Manufacturers and advertisers know this and take advantage of it.

Electricity in the U.S.

Net Electricity Generation Graph
Cost per Kilowatt Hour Graph

Energy Sources



How Much Energy Do We Use?

Energy Use Graph

How Much Do We Spend On Energy?

Energy Expenditures Graph

Petroleum - Oil

A naturally occurring complex liquid hydrocarbon
Petroleum forms from the accumulation of microscopic organisms that are quickly buried in sediment – usually in oceans.
Complex organic material is then “cooked” and breaks down into simpler hydrocarbons.

Oil: What the U.S. Uses
Year: _____________
         _____________ million barrels of oil per day
         _____________ million barrels per day - Imported
         _____________million barrels per day - Domestic

Hubert's Peak Graph

Leading Oil Supplying Countries to U.S.

Major Oil Fields Map

Natural Gas

Hydrocarbon gas – primarily methane (CH4), but also including ethane (C2H6), propane (C3H8), and other gases.

U.S. Suppliers (mcf per day):

Natural Gas Wells Graph


Sedimentary rock containing at least 50% carbon. Formed as deposits in swamps from accumulation of plant material.
Largest Reserves of Recoverable Coal in the world:

Coal Producing Regions Map
Coal Production Graph
Coal Reserves Graph

Nuclear Fission

Spontaneous splitting of a heavy atomic nucleus into a pair of nearly equal fragments, accompanied by the release of large amounts of energy.
235U → 90Ru + 143Cs + 2 neutrons
Uranium → 90Ruthenium + 143Cesium + 2 neutrons
Pressurized Water Nuclear Reactor

Nuclear Plants and Reserves Graph/Map


Three distinct energy sources:
Wood energy derived from direct use of harvested wood and from wood waste (such as waste from pulp, paper and paperboard industry).
Waste energy from municipal solid waste, manufacturing waste, and landfill gas.
Alcohol fuel, or ethanol, derived almost exclusively from corn.

Biomass Graph


Hydropower is using flowing or moving water to power machinery or make electricity.

Hydroelectric Graph


Geothermal energy is heat from Earth’s interior that was generated by:
Geothermal heat is found at shallow depths in crust, and all the way down to core.

Geothermal Graph


Wind Graph


Solar Graph


Chemical element with one proton in nucleus. First, simplest atom on Periodic Table of Elements.
Primarily generated from Methane (CH4) or petroleum
U.S. produces approx. 9 million tons/yr
- most is consumed by the manufacturer (7.5 mt)
- most is used to make fertilizers (60%), and petroleum refining and products (23%)
Can be used in internal combustion engines, and in Fuel Cells to generate electricity (up to 60% efficiency)

Nuclear Fusion

Combination of two or more light nuclei to form a single heavier nucleus, accompanied by the release of large amounts of energy.