Believe it or not, in 2009, renewable energy sources had a smaller share of U.S. primary energy than they did back in 1949. Sure, wind and solar have grown dramatically in recent years, but in 1949, renewables—almost all of it hydropower—provided 9.3 percent of the country’s energy needs. In 2009, renewables—again, much of it supplied by hydropower—provided 8.2 percent of U.S. energy.

via Oil and gas won’t be replaced by alternative energies anytime soon. – Slate Magazine.



4 thoughts on “?!??!?!??!?!??!

  1. US annual electricity consumption = 4,156 Terawatt-hours per year.

    Hoover Dam output = 4 Terawatt-hours per year.

    So someone needs to (a) build a few hundred dams, or (b) limit electricity usage.

  2. I forgot to add this: A dam doesn’t have to be the size of the Hoover to generate electricity. If we could install generators at all the dams already in existence in the US, we’d have more than enough power to go around. No more would have to be built.

  3. That’s possible, but 4,156 Terawatt-hours per year is an awful lot of electricity. If you tried it with solar panels, you’d need about 12,000 square kilometres of them, I think.

    I agree that setting up more renewable power generation facilities is a good idea (it would create jobs too), but perhaps more important is reducing demand (for example, by building the kind of old-fashioned house that needs no air-conditioning in summer).

  4. Oh, I agree, just saying that the problem isn’t lack of dams, lack of wind, lack of space to put up solar arrays, etc. We definitely do need to reduce demand. I think it’s ridiculous, for example, that you can still buy a high-flow showerhead or toilet, that our power outlets don’t have switches, that houses are still built without any thought to where the trees are or which way the biggest windows face or if you can get air flowing through them, etc. (Although in Louisville and much of the south there is no such thing as a house that needs no air conditioning! Needs less, maybe, but if you don’t want to be fighting mold and damp all the time you need AC to dry the place out!)

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