US energy flow, 1991
Judging from the record of the past four years, energy use in the US has stabilized. Increased energy use due to annual growth in population has been offset by improvements in conversion efficiencies and by a downturn in economic activity. By all accounts, 1991 was a recession year with unemployment at 6.7% and the gross domestic product (GDP) in constant dollars declining for the first time since 1982. The decline was registered in the Goods component of the GDP as contrasted to the Services
... mponent which actually increased. Energy consumption in the residentiaVcommercial sector rose while use in the industrial and transportation sectors fell. . Oil use declined in 1991 which, together with slightly increased domestic production, led to a smaller volume of imports. Net imports of crude oil and petroleum products comprised 40% of supply. Two thirds of the imports were from OPEC, the largest supplier being Saudi Arabia. For the first time in 6 years domestic oil production grew slightly due to the increases in Alaska, Federal Offshore provinces and increased natural gas liquid production. Natural gas use also increased slightly. In order to enlarge the US gas supply, there were numerous gas pipelines either under construction or in the approval or proposal stage. The bulk of the new supplies is to be of Canadian origin. Following a trend of many years' standing, the amount of transmitted electrical energy increased, albeit at less than former rates. Coal remained the principal source of electrical power in the US. The next largest contributor was nuclear energy (22%) which continued to grow by virtue of improved capacity factors and the return to service of reactors that had been shut down. Renewable sources of energy comprised 0.6% of power transmitted by the utilities. That share is below the 1987 historical high. New power plants using geothermal, wood, waste, wind, photovoltaic and solar thermal energy sources have not been large enough to compensate for the natural depletion that set in at California's giant geothermal field (The Geysers) in 1988.