The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Energy

The National Academies

What You Need To Know About Energy

America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation (2009)

Energy touches our lives in countless ways and its costs are felt when we fill up at the gas pump, pay our home heating bills, and keep businesses both large and small running. There are long-term costs as well: to the environment, as natural resources are depleted and pollution contributes to global climate change, and to national security and independence, as many of the world’s current energy sources are increasingly concentrated in geopolitically unstable regions. The country’s challenge is to develop an energy portfolio that addresses these concerns while still providing sufficient, affordable energy reserves for the nation. The United States has enormous resources to put behind solutions to this energy challenge; the dilemma is to identify which solutions are the right ones. Before deciding which energy technologies to develop, and on what timeline, we need to understand them better. America’s Energy Future analyzes the potential of a wide range of technologies for generation, distribution, and conservation of energy. This book considers technologies to increase energy efficiency, coal-fired power generation, nuclear power, renewable energy, oil and natural gas, and alternative transportation fuels. It assesses the associated impacts and projected costs of implementing each technology and categorizes them into three time frames for implementation.

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Energy Hands-on

What do you know about energy?

How much electricity does an average U.S. household consume each year?

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    The average U.S. household consumes an average of 10,000 kilowatt-hours each year.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    The average U.S. household consumes an average of 10,000 kilowatt-hours each year.

  • Correct!

    The average U.S. household consumes an average of 10,000 kilowatt-hours each year.