Cooking Thanksgiving dinner in the U.S. will use 227 million kWh of power. Each household using roughly enough electricity to power one LED light for 1,400 hours.
As we approach this Thanksgiving let’s be thankful that we have the capability to cook like this. For all purposes, Americans are 100% connected with electricity. In 2018, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,972 kilowatt-hours (kWh), an average of about 914 kWh per month. (Source)
U.S. households tap various fuels for their energy, see below, and electricity is growing as the nation electrifies away from fossil fuels like petroleum. (Source)
The electricity being used by Americans is increasingly being made through burning natural gas, the yellow line in this image of how natural gas is used.
In using this energy, the US has the world’s highest per capita CO2 emissions – 16.6 tons per person, way ahead of the global average of 4.8 tons, and more than double the next nation, China. (Source)
America is fortunate to have this access and supply of energy. An estimated 1.1 billion people do not have access to electricity in the world. Many more suffer from power supply that is poor quality. (Source) “Nearly 2.7 billion people do not have access to clean cooking facilities, relying instead on biomass, coal or kerosene as their primary cooking fuel.” (Source)
Governments and organizations are working on better access to energy worldwide, and looking at smaller, more numerous renewable power generation sources look promising. “They are community-based grids that generate and distribute power at the point of consumption,” says the International Energy Agency. (Source)
While mini-grids may have technical promise, people have to adopt new kinds of planning and execution to make them a reality.
We can be grateful for our good energy fortunes. We can look at the responsibilities that come with energy abundance, too. Our use of energy, and the implications of using energy on the environment, are worth more than just consideration, but action.