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Nontraditional Fuel Use Rose in 2022

Total energy demand in the U.S. rose 3% from 2021 to 2022, and a record amount came from nontraditional power sources, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

What’s going on: Primary power consumption in America increased to 100.4 quadrillion British thermal units last year, up from about 98 in 2021.

  • Approximately 21% of the energy consumed in 2022 was from nontraditional sources, such as renewables and nuclear. That puts 2022 and 2020 in a tie for the highest amount of nontraditional fuels consumed since the early 1900s.
  • Consumption of renewables in the U.S. inched up “from 12.1 quads in 2021 to a record-high 13.2 quads in 2022,” according to the agency. Wind and solar drove the bulk of the increase. 

Natural gas: Natural gas consumption in the U.S. last year was 33.4 quads, the most on record.

  • The rising use of natural gas in recent years is due to its use in electric power, “which has consumed more natural gas than any other sector every year for the past five years.”

Nuclear news: Nuclear energy consumption in 2022 was at 8.0 quads, down only slightly from 2021’s 8.1 quads.

  • “The small decrease was driven by the closure of the Palisades nuclear power plant in May 2022, nine years before its operating license would have expired.”

The last word: “Manufacturers depend on access to reliable and affordable energy,” said NAM Vice President of Domestic Economic Policy Brandon Farris. “The NAM strongly supports an all-of-the-above approach that expedites development of numerous energy projects, including nuclear, natural gas, renewables, hydrogen and others to meet our industry’s and our country’s growing power demands.”

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