America now occupies a position of energy leadership that was unthinkable a short time ago. These developments are strengthening America’s energy and economic security and benefiting tens of millions of individuals. With both American and world energy demand expected to increase in the future, the continued availability of the full range of America’s energy resources will continue to grow in importance.
What does a Balanced Energy solution include?
- Hydropower. Hydropower is the nation’s largest source of renewable energy, contributing 80 gigawatts of contention and 20 gigawatts of pumped storage energy to meet the country’s demands. Keeping the more than 2,000 hydropower facilities functioning optimally employs approximately 300,000 domestic workers and a supply chain of more than 2,500 companies from coast to coast.
- Solar. Solar accounted for a record 53 percent of all new electric generation capacity installed in the first half of 2014, pushing solar to the front as the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in America.
- Geothermal. Currently, the U.S. contributes about 3.6 gigawatts of the global 12.1 gigawatt geothermal energy capacity. Geothermal power capacity has grown every year since the mid-1980s, and it’s expected to increase 4-to-5% each year for the rest of the decade.
- Nuclear. Today, nuclear generates 63% of America’s carbon-free electricity, all while the U.S. nuclear energy program continues to be the hallmark of safety worldwide.
- Oil & Natural Gas. Since 2008, America’s crude oil production has surged by 70 percent, rising from an average of 5 million barrels per day in 2008 to 8.6 million barrels per day in August 2014. At its current production rate, the United States is anticipated to surpass both Saudi Arabia and Russia, historically two top energy producers, to become the world’s largest producer of oil this year.
A Balanced Energy Solution Makes Sense for the Future
A balanced energy solution is the best approach to continuing America's surge as a world energy leader. It invests in American ingenuity to develop and expand new sources and technologies while finding innovative ways to maximize existing sources and create efficiencies.
We must recognize that although we may prefer to invest primarily in renewable sources, such as solar and wind, we must not ignore the role fossil fuels will play for decades to come, as they are expected to account for ore than 60% of our energy needs in coming decades, even under the most aggressive scenarios of alternative energy development.
As Americans, we are responsible for educating ourselves on energy solutions, using energy wisely and efficiently, supporting companies and organizations that help build energy security, and holding our President and members of Congress accountable for responsible energy policies.
A Balanced Energy Solution Includes Development of all Sources, including Domestic Drilling for Oil and Natural Gas
Development of all sources of energy — including solar, wind, biomass, and nuclear — is clearly the road to secure our energy future. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that 25 years from now oil natural gas, and coal collectively will still account for 80% of the country’s energy consumption. Sixty-two percent will come from just petroleum and natural gas.
Expanding the exploration for and development of sources of oil and natural gas are also necessary to help Americans meet continued demand while we develop alternative energy sources and increasingly fuel-efficient technologies.
A Balanced Energy Solution Will Create Jobs
Development of a balanced energy solution will create new jobs for Americans.
Increased energy development in the oil and natural gas industry led to the creation of 600,000 new American jobs between 2009 and 2011. Expanded drilling, development of new solar and wind technologies, more efficient biomass, new nuclear plants and research into alternative energy sources and technologies generate opportunities at all levels, including engineering, construction, manufacturing, management, and services.
Job creation in turn promotes a more secure America by spurring economic growth across all sectors. Americans must take a comprehensive view of the economic, environmental, and national security impacts of all our energy options and resources, and support balanced, thoughtful and methodical policies that will continue America’s status as a global energy leader.
More About All of America's Energy Sources
Read a description of how vital all of America's energy sources are in creating and sustaining our energy security in the 2015 Energy Tomorrow report.