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: Energy & Environment

Chart Mar 27, 2017

Share of Cumulative Global GHG Emissions, 2010–2100 (Projected)

The U.S. share of GHG emissions is projected to drop over time as developing countries’ emissions grow and the United States continues to limit its new GHG emissions and experience relatively slow economic growth. By 2050 the shares of cumulative GHG emissions accounted for by China and India will be larger, at 20 and 6 percent, respectively, while the U.S. share will have dropped to 16 percent. By 2100 China and India will have produced over one-third of global cumulative GHG emissions.

Chart Mar 27, 2017

Estimated Temperature Impact of Combustion

Prior CO2 emissions have already resulted in substantial global temperature increases. A common misconception about climate change is that the imminent exhaustion of fossil fuel resources will act as a natural restraint on CO2 emissions and associated temperature rise. In fact, fossil fuel resources remain extensive, particularly in the form of coal. If world economies used all of the remaining fossil fuel resources that can be profitably extracted with current technology and prices, the total temperature impact is projected to be 2.8°F (1.6°C). Policy actions—and not the natural exhaustion of fossil fuel resources—will likely be required to avoid these outcomes.

Chart Mar 27, 2017

U.S. Energy Production by Fuel and Household Spending on Energy

The United States is experiencing large increases in energy production, including both conventional fossil fuels and renewable sources.The surge in domestic production of both fuels has not only sharply reduced imports, but also created export opportunities that were widely unexpected as recently as a decade ago. Combined with stable demand, the surge in domestic energy production has resulted in lower prices across multiple fuels, most notably oil and natural gas. The result is that American consumers are spending less on energy than at any time in decades.

Chart Mar 27, 2017

Public Spending on Energy-Related Research and Development, 1974–2015

Government investment in energy-related research and development has varied considerably over time, alternately receiving encouragement during periods of perceived crisis and lower support during periods of low prices and abundant supply. Notably, this pattern holds true across the industrialized nations shown in this chart, reflecting the fact that they all experienced the same changes in global energy markets.

Chart Mar 27, 2017

U.S. Net Electricity Generation by Fuel Source, 2000–2050 (Projected)

Even without implementation of the Clean Power Plan, renewable power—derived largely from wind, solar, hydroelectric, and geothermal sources—is projected to exceed coal-powered generation by 2048. This chart displays the net electricity generation by fuel source since 2000 and projected generation to 2050, shoing that production of electricity from natural gas and renewables has increased in recent years, whereas production from coal has fallen.

Chart Oct 20, 2014

Comparison of U.S. Patents Filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty for Clean Energy and Water Purification, 1999-2011

Solutions to the country’s growing water challenges lie, in part, with the development and adoption of new innovative technologies. Yet, in comparison to the clean energy sector, innovation in the water sector has remained low. Using the numbers of patents filed in clean energy and water purification as indicators, the clean energy sector has exhibited a much higher rate of innovation over the past decade.