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Energy Use in Manufacturing Down 10% in Four Years

Energy consumption in the U.S. manufacturing sector fell from 21,098 trillion Btu (tBtu) in 2006 to 19,062 tBtu in 2010, a decline of almost 10 percent, based on preliminary estimates released from the 2010 Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey (MECS), a quadrennial report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

This decline continues the downward trend in manufacturing energy use since the 1998 MECS report. The decrease in energy consumption in the manufacturing sector was also evident for most individual energy sources, EIA said.

Overall, net electricity consumption dropped 13 percent between 2006 and 2010, from 2,851 tBtu to 2,490 tBtu. Within the electricity category, consumption of noncombustible renewable energy sources increased 25 percent, from 4 to 5 tBtu. But the latter figure represents only a sliver, 0.20 percent, of 2010 total net electricity consumption.

In other individual energy categories, coal consumption is down about 9 percent since 2006, from 1,433 tBtu to 1,307 tBtu. Natural gas consumption slipped 1.8 percent from 5,911 tBtu to 5,803.

Consumption of liquefied petroleum gases and natural gas liquids was down about 16 percent, from 2,376 tBtu to 2,000 tBtu, the report said.

Biomass, a subset of the “other fuels” category, saw a 17.6 percent increase over 2006, with consumption  growing from 631 tBtu to 742 tBtu. Within the category, energy from agricultural waste increased significantly, growing from 22 tBtu in 2006 to 41 tBtu in 2010. This is an 86.4 percent increase.

EIA said that more detailed MECS industry data will be released in the fall, including an examination of changes in overall manufacturing energy intensity.

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6 thoughts on “Energy Use in Manufacturing Down 10% in Four Years

  1. Consumption numbers are irrelevant without production data. If more manufacturing facilities are shutting down then the energy use is expected to drop. If more goods are being produced and there is a net decline, that is very impressive. This article need a bit more detail to flesh that out.

  2. I agree with Drew. We also experienced a little event called “The Great Recession” somewhere between 2006-2010.
    Flashy by-line, poor article.

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