According to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. energy independence is on the rise and may put us back at the top of the global energy industry. Fracking is the name of the game, and we’re discovering some hefty oil and natural gas resources available to us here at home.
The EIA has predicted that the replacement of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for fuel will rise by about 12% per year through 2040, especially in the commercial industry. Freight trucks will have to make special modifications and commit to mapping out locations for refueling stations, something the EIA says they’ll be willing to do since LNG will be 40% cheaper than petroleum diesel fuel for the next thirty years.
In the long run, the EIA says that truckers will be willing to make the change since it will end up saving them lots of money. Unfortunately, this shift to using LNG instead of gasoline doesn’t look like it will have much of an effect on average drivers of individual vehicles. There’s currently not an infrastructure set up for refueling, and smaller vehicles can only hold a small amount of compressed energy. That infrastructure would need to be in place before a widespread change could take place.
Unfortunately, this rise in natural energy and oil resources at home doesn’t do much to shift our current U.S. energy usage. Analysts predict we’ll still spread our usage fairly evenly across natural gas, coal, and nuclear power for the next three decades at least. Solar, wind, and renewable energy are being looked into, but they have yet to make a major breakthrough.
On the plus side, U.S. carbon emissions are expected to stay about 5% below what they were in 2005, a small step in the right direction. The future of our energy industry is positive in that we’ll be more independent, but it’s one that still relies heavily on natural gas and oil. To make a complete shift over, there will need to be stricter climate policies in place by the government, and we’ll need to see some big leaps in technology.