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Overview of Energy Consumption in the U.S.
Renewable Fuel Standard
Current Ethanol Consumption and Production
Future Estimates about Biofuels
Links to Other Resources for Energy Statistics
- Transportation accounted for 29% of U.S. total energy consumption as of 2009.1
- The United States consumes about 346 million gallons of gasoline each day (2009).2
- There are 150 petroleum refineries in the United States (compare to 201 ethanol facilities) (2008).2
- Ethanol accounts for 7.8% of fuel for cars with gasoline engines (2009).
- Only 3 percent of energy going to transportation is renewable. 9 percent of energy going to electricity generation is renewable.1
- 60% of greenhouse gas emissions are from burning fossil fuels. Most of the remaining 40% comes from deforestation and agriculture.3
- Human activity currently adds about 9.1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year to the atmosphere. Plants, oceans, and soils can only remove about 5 billion metric tons each year.3
- Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
- The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 expanded the RFS program.
- Mandates 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022, 16 billion gallons of which are expected to come from cellulosic feedstocks.4
- Mandates 12.95 billion gallons of biofuels in 2010, with 6.5 million coming from cellulosic ethanol.4
- Biodiesel has a higher energy density than ethanol. Each gallon of biodiesel counts as 1.5 gallons towards the mandate.4
- Only 1 billion gallons mandated from biodiesel because less feedstock is available.4
- Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction Requirements – each biofuel must reduce GHG emissions compared to petroleum:5
- Corn Grain Ethanol – 20% reduction
- Advanced Biofuel – 50% reduction
- Biodiesel – 50% reduction
- Cellulosic Biofuel – 60% reduction
- In June 2010, there were 201 ethanol facilities in the United States with the capacity to produce 13.5 billion gallons of ethanol.4
- In 2009, the United States was the top world producer of fuel ethanol with 10.8 billion gallons per year. The second largest is Brazil, with 6.6 billion gallons per year. Next is the European Union with 1 billion gallons per year.7
- In 1980, the United States produced 175 million gallons of ethanol per year. In 2009, the United States produced 10.75 billion gallons.8
- About 99% of ethanol produced in the United States is used to make “E10,” a mixture of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline. Flex Fuel Vehicles can use “E85” fuel, a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.9
- In 2007, there were close to 250 million vehicles on the road in the US.10
- In 2009, there were between 8.0 and 8.5 million Flex Fuel Vehicles currently on the road in the US (3.2 – 3.5 % of total vehicles). The top five states in the number of Flex Fuel Vehicles on the road are Texas, Florida, California, Michigan, and Ohio, making up one-third of FFVs.4
- The USDA estimates 27 million acres of cropland are needed to produce all the biofuels necessary to meet the RFS mandate. This is 6.5 percent of the total 406.4 million acres of agricultural cropland reported in the 2007 Census of Agriculture.4
- Advanced biofuel production will require up to 4.5% of the available cropland in the Central East region.4
- For ethanol to be competitive with current technology, estimate oil prices must stay above $60-70 per barrel.
- Link to current oil prices: http://money.cnn.com/data/commodities
Links to Other Resources for Energy Statistics
An updated source of statistics on energy consumption and production in the US and around the world. The link "Energy Explained" is especially user-friendly, with graphs describing US, State and International energy consumption and descriptions of different energy sources.
Comprehensive information from the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy arm of the DOE. Find information on fuels, vehicles, laws and incentives, data, etc. For a quick update on today's prices and current production stats try biofuels data from the US Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration.
This page on biofuels is part of a larger website from the National Academies with resources and information regarding energy use in the United States. The website explores how we get our energy, the task of increasing efficiency, the extended costs of our energy use, as well as the variety of sources which can meet our energy demands. Both conventional sources, such as fossil fuels, as well as emerging technologies, such as biofuels, are examined. National Academies discusses how we are using biofuels today, how they fit into the broader picture of our energy use, as well as their role in the future.
This website is a collaborative effort designed to provide stakeholders with the information that they need to make sound business decisions. The interactive Wisconsin Bioenergy Atlas provides a visual display of biomass production, harvest, and delivery in Wisconsin, allowing the user to overlay different data sets for comparison. This page was established in January 2010 by the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, the University of Wisconsin's Land Information and Computer Graphics Facility, the Energy Center of Wisconsin, and the University of Wisconsin-Extension.
An interactive database for consumers, policy-makers, researchers and others, developed by the Department of Energy and a network of National Energy Labs. Allows you to spatially visualize the answers to data-driven questions related to biomass availability, transport, processing, end-use, among other topics. Also contains a library of bioenergy-related materials. We recommend watching the webinar demonstration to learn all of the capabilities of this powerful tool.
- Energy Information Administration. 2010. Annual Energy Review 2009. Retrieved from: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/pdf/aer.pdf
- Department of Energy. 2010. Energy Explained. Retrieved from: http://www.eia.doe.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=biofuel_home
- National Geographic. 2009. The Carbon bathtub. Retrieved from: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/big-idea/05/carbon-bath
- USDA. 2010. A USDA Regional Roadmap to Meeting Biofuel Goals of the Renewable Fuels Standard by 2022. USDA Biofuels Strategic Production Report, 1-21.
- Environmental Protection Agency. 2010. EPA Finalizes Regulations for the National Renewable Fuel Standard Program for 2010 and Beyond. Retrieved from: http://www.epa.gov/oms/renewablefuels/420f10007.htm
- National Academies. 2010. What You need to know about energy. Retrieved from: http://needtoknow.nas.edu/energy/energy-sources/emerging-technologies/biofuels.php
- Renewable Fuels Association. 2010. 2010 Ethanol Industry Outlook - Climate of Opportunity. Renewable Fuels Association. Retrieved from: http://ethanolrfa.3cdn.net/32b7ed69bd366321cb_r1m626lb0.pdf
- Renewable Fuels Association. 2010. Rfa ethanol industry statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.ethanolrfa.org/pages/statistics
- US Energy Information Administration. 2008. Eia energy kids - ethanol. Retrieved from: http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energy.cfm?page=tl_ethanol
- U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. 2010. Highway Statistics, annual. Retrieved from: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2010/tables/10s1060.pdf