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Energy Uses

Energy is used in four distinct sectors: transportation, industry, residential and commercial. The three major types of energy consumed in these sectors are:

  • Direct heat, the burning of combustible materials to heat buildings, cook food and transform raw materials by melting and combining them to make finished products.
  • Transportation fuel, used to power vehicles.
  • Electricity, used to provide heat, power and light to industry, homes and businesses.

Direct Heat

For most of human history, fire was mankind’s main source of energy. Today, much of the energy we use comes from what are considered secondary sources; the heat from burning combustible materials is used to generate energy, typically in the form of electricity or transportation fuels.

In 2005, 32.6 quadrillion Btu, or approximately 32.4 percent of all energy used nationwide, could be attributed to the burning of combustible materials to produce heat for direct use. The raw materials burned for direct uses include natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), heating oil, kerosene, wood, biomass (waste products) and coal. In addition to these raw materials, geothermal energy, or heat produced from deep within the Earth’s crust, also represents direct use.265

In 2005, Texans used about 237.4 trillion Btu of direct-use energy to heat homes and another 190.4 trillion Btu to heat commercial buildings.266

Between 1980 and 2005, U.S. direct-use energy consumption by the residential sector fell by 7.8 percent and the industrial sector by 4.2 percent; the commercial sector’s energy use grew by less than one percent.267 These reductions were made possible by advances in efficiency, conservation and a gradual shift from direct-use energy to energy provided through electricity. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, overall energy demand will increase by 1.1 percent through 2030; direct-use energy in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors is expected to stay flat or slightly decrease.268

Exhibit 10 summarizes important data for the fuels that can be used for direct heat.

Exhibit 10

Fuels Used for Direct Heat
Fuel Source Average Fuel Cost per MMBtu* (2005) Percent of Total Spending Subsidized by Government Annual Resource Availability in Texas (Trillion Btu, 2006) Average Greenhouse Gas Emissions (CO2, lbs./MMBtu*) Average Water Consumption (gallons/MMBtu*) Type
Crude Oil** $7.36 Federal: 0.5%
State & Local: 1.5%
2,303.9 (produced)
9,110.0 (refined)
161.4*** 1 to 2,500 nonrenewable
Natural Gas $8.08 Federal: 0.5%
State & Local: 1.5%
6,487.2 (produced)
4,114.6 (processed)
117.1 less than 5 nonrenewable
LPG $12.21 Federal: 0.5%
State & Local: 1.5%
304.4 139.0 oil and gas byproduct nonrenewable
Coal $1.54 Federal: 6.9%
State & Local: 0.0%
592.1 212.7**** 1 to 30 nonrenewable
Solar $0.00 Federal: 12.3%
State & Local: 9.2%
250,000.0***** 0.0 0 renewable
Wood Biomass $3.30 Federal: 0.4%
State & Local: 0.0%
105.9***** 195.0 0 renewable
Municipal Solid Waste $3.30 Federal: 0.4%
State & Local: 0.0%
57.1 199.9 0 renewable
Geothermal $0.00 Federal: 0.5%
State & Local: 0.2%
1,000.0 0.0 0 renewable

* MMBtu – Million British thermal units
**Distillate, Kerosene, Residual Fuel, Asphalt and Road Oil and Lubricants
***Value for distillate fuels
****Value for subbituminous coal
*****These estimates are from the 1995 report Texas Renewable Energy Resource Assessment, which is being updated by the State Energy Conservation Office and will be released before the start of the 2009 Texas Legislative Session.

Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Census Bureau, Oak Ridge National Lab, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas State Energy Conservation Office, Texas Forestry Association, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Transportation

The rapid and dependable transportation of people and materials from place to place is essential to modern American society. Americans have become ever more reliant on gasoline-powered vehicles, both for personal and commercial uses. In 2005, the U.S. accounted for 21.5 percent of the cars and 42.7 percent of the trucks and buses registered worldwide.269

In that year, Americans owned nearly 240 million cars and light trucks.270 Texans owned just over 20 million of these vehicles.271 In addition, almost 5.2 million commercial vehicles – those weighing more than 10,000 pounds – used American roadways to transport people and goods. And Americans relied on more than 224,000 aircraft, about 53,000 boats and ships and hundreds of thousands of locomotives and railcars to reach places not served by roadways.272

Nearly all of these vehicles depend upon oil.

In 2005 (most recent data available for both the U.S. and Texas), Americans used nearly 28.3 quadrillion Btu of fuel to transport people or goods from one place to another (Exhibit 11).273

Exhibit 11

U.S. and Texas Transportation Fuel Sources, 2005
(In Trillions of Btu)
Fuel Source U.S. Amount of Fuel Used (Trillion Btu) Percent Texas Amount of Fuel Used (Trillion Btu) Percent
Petroleum Products 27,301.6 96.5% 2,640.9 96.8%
Natural Gas* 626.3 2.2% 85.4 3.1%
Ethanol** 342.0 1.2% 2.4 < 0.1%***
Electricity 25.7 0.1% 0.3 < 0.1%***
Total 28,295.6 100.0% 2,729 100.0%

*Natural gas used in the transportation sector is consumed in the operation of pipelines, primarily in compressors and gas consumed as vehicle fuel.
**On the original EIA document, ethanol is listed twice: once as blended into motor gasoline and also separately, to display the use of renewable energy by the transportation sector.
***Ethanol and electricity used for transportation in Texas together accounted for 0.1 percent of all transportation fuel used in the state.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Approximately 80.5 percent of all energy devoted to transportation in the U.S. was used on local roadways and highways; the other 19.5 percent was used for other forms of transportation, including air, water, railroads and other non-road vehicles (Exhibit 12).274 Data on the amount of energy used on transportation modes in Texas were not available.

Exhibit 12

U.S. Transportation Energy Use by Mode, 2005
In Trillions of Btu
Use by Mode Amount of Btu Used
(Trillion Btu)
Percentage
of Total
Highway Total 22,042.7 80.5%
Cars, Light Trucks & Motorcycles 17,275.1 63.1%
Medium/Heavy Trucks 4,576.9 16.7%
Buses 190.7 0.7%
Non-Highway Total 5,341.9 19.5%
General, Domestic & International Aviation 2,476.6 9.0%
Water 1,366.1 5.0%
Pipeline 842.4 3.1%
Rail 656.8 2.4%
Highway & Non-Highway Total 27,384.6 100.0%

*Includes civilian consumption only.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

While mechanized transportation helped build the U.S. into a global industrial power, its evolution has not been without drawbacks. The emissions from fuels used by most vehicles can be harmful to the environment, and the majority of that fuel is produced and controlled by foreign governments.

To attempt to reduce oil use, the federal government has adopted vehicle fuel efficiency standards. U.S. fuel efficiency standards for light duty vehicles, passenger cars and light trucks are currently at 27.5 miles per gallon (MPG), but new legislation requires those standards to be increased to 35 MPG by 2020.275

In 2006, nearly all Texas vehicles ran on gasoline, with the remainder being hybrids, flexible-fuel vehicles or vehicles using other alternative fuels.276 (Hybrids supplement a conventional gasoline engine with power from electric batteries; flexible-fuel vehicles can use multiple fuels to power their engine, such as either regular gasoline or an ethanol-gasoline mix.)

To encourage more Texans to switch to vehicles using alternative fuels, the production and refining of these fuels and the distribution network must continue to expand and improve.

Exhibit 13 summarizes important data for the fuels that can be used for transportation.

Exhibit 13

Fuel Sources for Transportation
Fuel Type Average Cost per Gallon, at the Pump (January 2008) Average Cost at the Pump, Gallon of Gas Equivalent January 2008 Percent of Total Spending Subsidized by Government Annual Resource Availability in Texas (Trillion Btu, 2006)
Motor Gasoline $2.99 $2.99 Federal: 0.5%
State & Local: 1.5%
2,867.4
Petrodiesel $3.40 $3.05 Federal: 0.5%
State & Local: 1.5%
1,443.3
LPG (Propane) $3.12 $4.31 Federal: 0.5%
State & Local: 1.5%
304.4
Natural Gas $1.47 $1.93 Federal: 0.5%
State & Local: 1.5%
6,487.2 (produced)
4,114.6 (processed)
Ethanol (E85) $2.51 $3.55 Federal: 26.5%
State & Local: 0.0%
-
Biodiesel (B20) $3.37 $3.08 Federal: 9.9%
State & Local: 3.1%
9.2***
Hydrogen N/A $17.69* N/A N/A

Fuel Sources for Transportation (continued)
Fuel Type Number of Fueling Stations in Texas Vehicle Availability Average Greenhouse Gas Emissions (CO2, lbs./MMBtu) Average Water Consumption (Gallons/MMBtu) Type
Motor Gasoline 16,500 19,000,000 156.5 1 to 2,500 nonrenewable
Petrodiesel 16,500** 528,705 159.7 1 to 2,500 nonrenewable
LPG (Propane) 556 15,031 125.2 oil and gas byproduct nonrenewable
Natural Gas 15 4,500 101.7 less than 5 nonrenewable
Ethanol (E85) 27 415,207 33.1 2,500 to 29,000 renewable
Biodiesel (B20) 56 528,705 129.2 14,000 to 75,000 renewable
Hydrogen 0 N/A N/A less than 200 renewable

*Based on a U.S. Department of Energy Survey with seven respondents.
**Because data on diesel fueling stations were not available, the number of gasoline fueling stations was used.
***Fiscal 2007 data.
MMBtu – Million British thermal units

Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Texas State Energy Conservation Office, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Texas Department of Transportation, The Texas Almanac, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Conoco Phillips UK, Westart-Calstart Inc., National Association of Fleet Administrators.

Electricity

Electricity is essential for Texas factories, businesses, homes and recreation. Texas leads the nation in its generation and consumption of electricity.277

In 2006, 49 percent of electricity generation in Texas was powered by natural gas, compared with 36.5 percent for coal.

Electricity is a secondary energy source, meaning that it comes from the conversion of other sources of energy, such as coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric and wind power. The energy sources used to make electricity can be renewable or non-renewable, but electricity itself is neither. It can be considered a carrier of energy rather than an energy source.278

Texas has approximately 230 electric utilities responsible for delivering electricity to consumers in their service areas.279 In 2006, their net generation capacity totaled 100,754 megawatts, or 91.9 percent of total “nameplate” capacity (the installed generating capacity running at 100 percent). Net generation capacity has risen by 72 percent since 1995.280

Exhibit 14 shows the change in Texas’ net generation capacity and demand for the last six years.


Exhibit 15 shows the relative shares of electricity produced by various fuel sources in Texas and the U.S. in 2006. In 2005, 49 percent of electricity generation in Texas was powered by natural gas, compared with 36.5 percent for coal.281

Texas has access to enough energy resources to meet its projected electricity demands through 2030 and beyond. But meeting that demand will require new generation and transmission capacity. ERCOT expects to spend $3.1 billion on transmission lines from 2006 through 2011, and another $3 billion from 2011 through 2016 to ensure adequate transmission capacity.282 Substantial investments in new generating capacity also will be needed.

Exhibit 16 summarizes important data for the fuels that can be used to generate electricity.

Exhibit 16

Fuel Sources for Electricity Generation
Fuel Source Average Fuel Cost per MMBtu (2005) Percent of Total Spending Subsidized by Government Annual Resource Availability in Texas (Trillion Btu, 2006) Estimated Net Existing Generation Capacity
(MW, 2006)
Availability/ Capacity Factor (percent)***
Crude Oil* $1.75 Federal: 0.5%
State & Local: 1.5%
2,303.9 (produced)
9,110.0 (refined)
220.0 99.1%
Natural Gas $7.90 Federal: 0.5%
State & Local: 1.5%
6,487.2 (produced)
4,114.6 (processed)
71,737.0 98.0%
Coal $1.34 Federal: 6.9%
State & Local: 0.0%
592.1 19,843.0 96.9%
Nuclear Fuel (Uranium Oxide) $0.38 Federal: 20.9%
State & Local: 0.0%
261.5 4,860.0 97.9%
Solar $0.00 Federal: 12.3%
State & Local: 9.2%
250,000.0** 1.7 PV: 20%
Trough: 26-29%
Wind $0.00 Federal: 11.6%
State & Local: 0.2%
4,000.0** 2,739.0 39.0%
Biomass: Wood $0.82 Federal: 0.4%
State & Local: 0.0%
105.9 0.0 N/A
Biomass: Feedlot $0.82 Federal: 0.4%
State & Local: 0.0%
26.0** N/A N/A
Biomass: Municipal Solid Waste $0.82 Federal: 0.4%
State & Local: 0.0%
57.1 0.0 N/A
Biomass: Landfill Gas $0.82 Federal: 0.4%
State & Local: 0.0%
0.7 74.0 N/A
Hydropower $0.00 Federal: 0.5%
State & Local: 0.0%
1,000.0** 673.0 99.5%
Ocean – Tidal, Wave & Ocean Thermal Conversion $0.00 N/A 0.0 0.0 N/A
Geothermal $0.00 Federal: 0.5%
State & Local: 0.2%
1,000.0** 0.0 95.0%
Hydrogen high N/A N/A 0.0 N/A

Fuel Sources for Electricity Generation (continued)
Fuel Source Average Greenhouse Gas Emissions,
(CO2, lbs./MMBtu)
Average NOX Emissions (lbs./MMBtu) Average Other Emissions (lbs./MMBtu) Average Water Consumption (gallons/MMBtu) Type
Crude Oil* 490.0 1.17 3.52 (S02)
trace amounts (Mercury)
0-150 nonrenewable
Natural Gas 332.7 0.50 0.03 (S02) 2-56 nonrenewable
Coal 659.3 1.76 3.81 (S02)
0.01 (Mercury)
0-150 nonrenewable
Nuclear Fuel (Uranium Oxide) 0.0 0 0 0-211 nonrenewable
Solar 0.0 0 0 0-270 renewable
Wind 0.0 0 0 0 renewable
Biomass: Wood 0.0 N/A N/A 0-150 renewable
Biomass: Feedlot 0.0 N/A N/A 0-150 renewable
Biomass: Municipal Solid Waste 875.7 1.60 0.23 (S02)
trace amounts (Mercury)
0-150 renewable
Biomass: Landfill Gas 0.0 N/A 0 0 renewable
Hydropower 0.0 0 0 1,319**** renewable
Ocean – Tidal, Wave & Ocean Thermal Conversion 0.0 0 0 0 renewable
Geothermal 0.0 0 0 410 renewable
Hydrogen N/A N/A N/A less than 200 renewable

*In the United States, oil is used for only a very small amount of all electricity generation, including less than 1 percent of electricity generation in Texas. Data associated with electricity generation from oil are included primarily for comparison purposes.
**These estimates are from the 1995 report Texas Renewable Energy Resource Assessment, which is being updated by the State Energy Conservation Office and will be released before the start of the 2009 Texas Legislative Session.
***Availability factor refers to amount of time a generating unit could run over a given period. Capacity factor refers to the amount of output from a generating unit during a time period divided by the amountof output that could have been produced if the unit had operated at full capacity during that time period. Due to its variable nature, capacity factor is used to compare the availability of wind and solar power toother sources of electricity.
****Due to evaporation.
MMBtu – Million British Thermal Units.

Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas State Energy Conservation Office, Texas Forestry Association, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, USA Uranium Corp., Mesteña Uranium LLC, Uranium Resources Inc.

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