By on Mar 21, 2019 in Energy, News

Enjoy some nuggets of energy intelligence courtesy of FactRetriever.com, Danish critical global challenges tracker The World Counts, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and energy and home services provider British Gas.

  • Humans began using energy sources other than fire about 5,000 years ago.
  • In 1807 English scientist Thomas Young became the first person to use the word “energy” in the modern sense.
  • The U.S.’s first natural gas well was dug in Fredonia, N.Y., in 1821. The first oil well followed in Pennsylvania in 1859.
  • Thomas Edison built the first commercial central power plant. The Pearl Street Power Station in New York City sent electricity to more than 80 buildings in 1882. It served more than 500 customers within two years.
  • Seventeen percent of U.S. electricity generated in 2017 came from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal power.
  • Biomass and waste fuels accounted for about 1.6% of U.S. electricity in 2017.
  • The U.S. produces the most nuclear-generated electricity, nearly one-third of the world’s total. The second-largest producer is France, which generates more than three-fourths of its electricity in nuclear reactors.
  • Lighting accounts for about 20% of U.S. electricity consumption.
  • Only about 10% of the energy in a fluorescent light bulb creates light. The rest creates heat.
  • Mexico’s Programa Luz Sustentable delivered four energy-efficient light bulbs to almost 6 million households in 2012.
  • American inventor Charles Fritts built a prototype of the first solar cell in 1880.
  • Enough sunlight reaches the Earth’s surface every minute to satisfy the world’s energy demands for a year.
  • The global solar market grew by about 29% in 2017.
  • The cost of solar power has dropped by approximately 60% since 2009.
  • Buildings account for 36% of overall annual energy consumption in the U.S. and 65% of the electricity demand.
  • Cooling and heating costs comprise about half of an average U.S. home’s energy bill.
  • Gas is shrunk by 600 times to form a liquid before being transported. That’s like squashing the world’s tallest building down to the height of an average man.
  • Forty-eight people riding bikes for 24 hours could generate enough power to run a television set for a week.

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