In an energy policy debate that is far too often dominated by ideological purists, here is a statistic for those who support renewable energy growth and continued reliance on fossil fuels: According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), growth in renewables has reduced the percentage of energy consumption powered by fossil fuels to the lowest level in 100 years – 81.5%. And by 2040, EIA projects fossil fuel energy consumption to remain above 75% of total energy consumption.
If you get stuck between the “Drill Baby Drill” and “Keep it in the Ground” contingents at your July 4th BBQ, you can quote the EIA below (and then go find people who are talking about baseball, or Game of Thrones, or anything other than energy policy at a BBQ).
“Three fossil fuels—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—have provided more than 80% of total U.S. energy consumption for more than 100 years. In 2015, fossil fuels made up 81.5% of total U.S. energy consumption, the lowest fossil fuel share in the past century. In EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2016 Reference case projections, which reflect current laws and policies, that percentage declines to 76.6% by 2040. Policy changes or technology breakthroughs that go beyond the trend improvements included in the Reference case could significantly change that projection.” —EIA