Image: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Look at How Much Energy is Wasted!
The image above (see the full size version in this PDF) is a snapshot of energy use in the United States in 2009. On the left, the different sources (solar, nuclear, hydro, wind, etc) and how many quads of energy they contribute, and then by following the lines you can see how that energy is used, and how much of it is wasted. Read on for more details.
Image: Wikipedia, CC
The estimated U.S. energy use in 2009 equaled 94.6 quadrillion BTUs ("quads"), down from 99.2 quadrillion BTUs in 2008.. The average American household uses about 95 million BTU per year. Of course, energy use follows economic activity, so like in Europe, this decline can partly be explained by that.
But the LLNL also points out that "higher efficiency appliances and vehicles" further reduced energy use, and that there's a switch to more renewable sources and natural gas (which is bad, but not as bad as coal).
"Wind power increased dramatically in 2009 to.70 quads of primary energy compared to .51 in 2008. Most of that energy is tied directly to electricity generation and thus helps decrease the use of coal for electricity production." (source)
CO2 Emissions Data to Come
Carbon emission data isn't out yet, but it is predicted that it will follow a similar curve because of the reduction in coal, natural gas, and petroleum use.
One thing to note on the graph: Look at how inefficient our petroleum use is. Most of it ends up in the "rejected" box. That's because most of it is used for transportation, and the internal combustion engine is notably inefficient. A good reason to electrify transportation.
Via LLNL, GCC
More on Energy
Renewable Energy Production Increased 8.3% Last Year in Europe, Coal Consumption Dropped 16.3%
Google Energy Signs 20-Year, 114 MW Wind Power Contract
Melting Steel With Only the Sun (Video)
Smart Grid + Demand Response = Underrated Renewable Energy Storage?