The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Energy

The National Academies

What You Need To Know About Energy

What do you know about energy?

True or False: Burning coal in electric power plants is a major source of CO2 and other emissions. However, its use doesn't have negative consequences beyond the emissions caused by combustion.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Mining coal disturbs the land and modifies the chemistry of rainwater runoff, which in turn affects stream and river water quality.

  • Correct!

    Mining coal disturbs the land and modifies the chemistry of rainwater runoff, which in turn affects stream and river water quality.

Nuclear power provided what percentage of the total U.S. energy supply in 2008?

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Nuclear power accounted for 9% of the U.S. energy supply in 2008.

  • Correct!

    Nuclear power accounted for 9% of the U.S. energy supply in 2008.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Nuclear power accounted for 9% of the U.S. energy supply in 2008.

Which of the following energy sources is not used to generate electricity in the United States?

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Oil, biofuels, natural gas, and coal are all used to generate electricity in the United States.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Oil, biofuels, natural gas, and coal are all used to generate electricity in the United States.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Oil, biofuels, natural gas, and coal are all used to generate electricity in the United States.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Oil, biofuels, natural gas, and coal are all used to generate electricity in the United States.

  • Correct!

    Oil, biofuels, natural gas, and coal are all used to generate electricity in the United States.

True or False: Increasing the energy supply is the only answer to a stable energy future.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Reducing demand through the improved efficiency of devices and procedures is another way to improve our energy situation.

  • Correct!

    Reducing demand through the improved efficiency of devices and procedures is another way to improve our energy situation.

In the United States, which economic sector releases the most CO2?

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    In the United States, the transportation sector releases the most CO2. In 2006, the transportation sector released nearly 2 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, nearly all of which was from oil.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    In the United States, the transportation sector releases the most CO2. In 2006, the transportation sector released nearly 2 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, nearly all of which was from oil.

  • Correct!

    In the United States, the transportation sector releases the most CO2. In 2006, the transportation sector released nearly 2 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, nearly all of which was from oil.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    In the United States, the transportation sector releases the most CO2. In 2006, the transportation sector released nearly 2 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, nearly all of which was from oil.

In 2008, approximately how much energy did the United States use?

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    In 2008, the United States used approximately 99.2 quads. One quad is about as much total energy as the city of Chicago requires in one year.

  • Correct!

    In 2008, the United States used approximately 99.2 quads. One quad is about as much total energy as the city of Chicago requires in one year.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    In 2008, the United States used approximately 99.2 quads. One quad is about as much total energy as the city of Chicago requires in one year.

How much of France's electricity is produced by nuclear power plants?

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Nearly 80% of France's electricity is produced by nuclear power plants.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Nearly 80% of France's electricity is produced by nuclear power plants.

  • Correct!

    Nearly 80% of France's electricity is produced by nuclear power plants.

About 21% of the electricity used in residential and commercial buildings goes to what use?

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Roughly 21% of the electricity used in residential and commercial buildings goes to lighting.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Roughly 21% of the electricity used in residential and commercial buildings goes to lighting.

  • Correct!

    Roughly 21% of the electricity used in residential and commercial buildings goes to lighting.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Roughly 21% of the electricity used in residential and commercial buildings goes to lighting.

Which energy sources together account for 84% of the energy used in the United States?

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas, and coal) account for 84% of the energy used in the United States.

  • Correct!

    Fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas, and coal) account for 84% of the energy used in the United States.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas, and coal) account for 84% of the energy used in the United States.

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Energy Hands-on

Energy Defined

Kilowatt Hour (kWh)

A unit of measure for energy, typically applied to electricity usage. It is equal to the amount of energy used at a rate of 1000 watts over the course of one hour. One kWh is roughly equal to 3,412 British Thermal Units (Btu).

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