In 2019, the United States got 80% of its total energy from oil, coal, and natural gas, all of which are fossil fuels. Approximately 11.4% came from renewables (principally biomass, hydropower, wind, geothermal, and solar). Nuclear, a carbon-free but not renewable source of energy, provided another 8.4%. We depend on those fuels to heat our homes, run our vehicles, power industry and manufacturing, and provide us with electricity.
Since the start of the 21st century, the U.S. energy system has seen tremendous changes. The U.S. oil and natural gas industry has gone through a “renaissance” of production. Technological improvements in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have unlocked enormous oil and natural gas resources from unconventional formations, such as shale. Oil has surpassed levels of production not seen since the 1970s. Natural gas has set new production records almost every year since 2000. In conjunction with the rise in oil and natural gas production, U.S. production of natural gas liquids has also increased.
As a source of total primary energy, renewable energy has also increased – 80% between 2000 and 2017. Unlike some other energy commodities (e.g., crude oil), renewable energy is available in a variety of distinct forms that use different conversion technologies to produce usable energy products (e.g., electricity, heat, and liquid fuels).
The United States has the largest coal resources in the world. Although its prices have stayed low, coal has faced increasing competition from natural gas and renewables. U.S. coal consumption peaked in 2007 and has since declined by 39%. Nuclear faces significant challenges as a future source of energy, price being one of it s challenges. – The Congressional Research Service