The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Energy

The National Academies

What You Need To Know About Energy

As debates about energy grow more intense, Americans need dependable, objective, and authoritative energy information. The National Academies, advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine, provide the facts about energy—a complex issue that affects us as individuals and as a nation.

Uses

Discover how the strength of American industry, speed of transportation, and countless modern conveniences all come from our ingenious use of energy.

Sources

The United States depends on a variety of energy sources. What advantages and challenges does each one present to our nation and its people?

Costs

Learn about the costs of our unprecedented standard of living—to the environment, to our national security, and to irreplaceable resources.

Efficiency

Increasing supply isn’t the only answer to a stable energy future. Discover how reducing demand through improved efficiency achieves the same effect.

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Energy Videos

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America's Energy Future

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What do you know about energy?

Which primary energy source did we depend on the most to generate electricity in the United States in 2008?

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    In 2008, the United States depended most on coal to generate electricity. Coal provided approximately 49% of the electricity generated by the United States that year.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    In 2008, the United States depended most on coal to generate electricity. Coal provided approximately 49% of the electricity generated by the United States that year.

  • Correct!

    In 2008, the United States depended most on coal to generate electricity. Coal provided approximately 49% of the electricity generated by the United States that year.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    In 2008, the United States depended most on coal to generate electricity. Coal provided approximately 49% of the electricity generated by the United States that year.

Energy Defined

Natural Gas Combined Cycle (NGCC)

A process which helps improve the efficiency of natural gas power plants by capturing some of the waste heat given off by the combustion of natural gas in order to turn a steam turbine to generate electricity.

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