How Much Do You Know?
After fossil fuels, where does North Carolina get most of its energy?
North Carolina generates 31% of the state's electricity through nuclear power!
Sources1 “North Carolina: An Energy and Economic Analysis.” 2013. IER (blog). August 1, 2013.2https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/ca/Turbogenerator01.jpg/435px-Turbogenerator01.jpg
North Carolina is the second biggest provider of what energy in the US?
Sources3https://www.energy-reporters.com/wp-content/uploads/thumbs/sea-horizon-cloud-sky-sun-sunset-1043193-pxhere.com_-scaled-3aha68k6tp2ekve0ctf11c.jpg4“North Carolina – State Energy Profile Analysis – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).” n.d. Accessed April 19, 2020. https://www.eia.gov/state/analysis.php?sid=NC.
all around us, in many different forms: from batteries to the food you eat! In the simplest terms, energy is the ability to cause a change. Those changes can be turning a light bulb from ‘off’ to ‘on,’ or fueling the processes your body needs to keep you alive, like keeping your heart beating! Energy comes in a few main forms:
- Heat (the heat you feel from radiators, fires, and ovens is all a form of energy)
- Light (such as from light bulbs)
- Motion (moving cars have kinetic energy)
- Electricity (what’s powering your computer right now!) 5“What Is Energy? Explained – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).” n.d. Accessed April 19, 2020. https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/what-is-energy/.
Learn more about the different forms of energy by visiting this website!
Energy is used for…
four main things in America: 6“Use of Energy in Explained – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).” n.d. Accessed April 19, 2020. https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/use-of-energy/.
The production of things like food, clothes, and metal often rely on machinery, which needs energy to operate
(32% of US energy consumption)
Moving things and people around takes energy! Trucks, cars, trains, and airplanes all need fuel, such as gasoline, to go.
(28% of US energy consumption)
Energy is needed to keep people comfortable at home, whether it be through heating and cooling or turning the lights on.
(21% of US energy consumption)
Like homes, stores, libraries, offices, and restaurants all need energy to operate, too!
(18% of US energy consumption)
Energy can be categorized…
by the way it was generated, whether that be from renewable or nonrenewable sources.
Energy in the US…
mostly comes from nonrenewable sources, though renewable resources are better for the earth and will not run out in the foreseeable future. The United States is much more dependent on fossil fuels for energy and always has been. However, renewables have been on the rise in recent years, and are expected to continue to do so! 8“History of Energy Consumption in the United States, 1775–2009 – Today in Energy – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).” n.d. Accessed April 19, 2020. https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=10.
As you can see, energy use in this country has increased a lot in the past 250 years. This is true for many nations across the world, and developed countries today use the most energy. The United States uses the second most behind China, and fares slightly better in terms of energy use per capita. However, most of our energy still comes from nonrenewable sources, and compared to the rest of the world, the US still has a lot of work to do.
Source: The World Bank 10The World Bank. n.d. “Electric Power Consumption (KWh per Capita).” Accessed April 19, 2020. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EG.USE.ELEC.KH.PC?end=2014&start=2014&view=map.
Energy Use Has Consequences…
especially in terms of global climate change. As of March 2020, there are 413 ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In other words, for every 1 million particles of air in our atmosphere, 413 of them are carbon dioxide (CO2). This is the highest level of CO2 the world has seen in over 800,000 years and is due in large part to energy generation. According to the EPA, about 87% of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions came from burning fossil fuels for energy. 11Change, NASA Global Climate. n.d. “Carbon Dioxide Concentration” Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet. Accessed April 19, 2020. https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/carbon-dioxide.12US EPA, OAR. 2015. “Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” Overviews and Factsheets. US EPA. December 29, 2015. https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions.
We’ll let the Climate Change page explain to you the consequences of such high levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, but just know that humans are responsible for changing the climate of our earth at fast rates, which has many bad effects!
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