Energy Programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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Energy availability in a country is of great importance to its economy and to raising and maintaining its standard of living. In 1994, the United States consumed more than 88 quadrillion Btu (quads) of energy and spent about $500 billion on fuels and electricity. Fortunately, the United States is well endowed with energy sources, notably fossil fuels, and possesses a considerable nuclear power industry. The United States also has significant renewable energy resources and already exploits much of its hydropower resources, which represent 10% of electricity production. Nevertheless, in 1994, the United States imported about 45% of the petroleum products ... continued below

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97 pages

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Sheffield, J. May 11, 1999.

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Description

Energy availability in a country is of great importance to its economy and to raising and maintaining its standard of living. In 1994, the United States consumed more than 88 quadrillion Btu (quads) of energy and spent about $500 billion on fuels and electricity. Fortunately, the United States is well endowed with energy sources, notably fossil fuels, and possesses a considerable nuclear power industry. The United States also has significant renewable energy resources and already exploits much of its hydropower resources, which represent 10% of electricity production. Nevertheless, in 1994, the United States imported about 45% of the petroleum products it consumed, equivalent to about 17 quads of energy. This dependence on imported oil puts the country at risk of energy supply disruptions and oil price shocks. Previous oil shocks may have cost the country as much as $4 billion (in 1993 dollars) between 1973 and 1990. Moreover, the production and use of energy from fossil fuels are major sources of environmental damage. The corresponding situation in many parts of the world is more challenging. Developing countries are experiencing rapid growth in population, energy demand, and the environmental degradation that often results from industrial development. The near-term depletion of energy resources in response to this rapid growth runs counter to the concept of ''sustainable development''--development that meets the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Energy research and development (R&D) to improve efficiency and to develop and deploy energy alternatives may be viewed, therefore, as an insurance policy to combat the dangers of oil shocks and environmental pollution and as a means of supporting sustainable development. These considerations guide the energy policy of the United States and of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In its strategic plan, DOE identifies the fostering of ''a secure and reliable energy system that is environmentally and economically sustainable'' as the first component of its mission. The strategic goal established for energy resources, identified as one of DOE's four businesses, is for ''the Department of Energy and its partners [to] promote secure, competitive, and environmentally responsible energy systems that serve the needs of the public.'' DOE has also identified four strategic goals for its programs in energy resources: (1) strengthening the economy and raising living standards through improvements in the energy field; (2) protecting the environment by reducing the adverse environmental impacts associated with energy production, distribution, and use; (3) keeping America secure by reducing vulnerabilities to global energy market shocks; and (4) enhancing American competitiveness in a growing world energy market.

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97 pages

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  • Other Information: PBD: 11 May 1999

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  • Report No.: ORNL-6946
  • Grant Number: AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/814243 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 814243
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc737456

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  • May 11, 1999

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  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

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  • Jan. 3, 2017, 12:22 p.m.

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Sheffield, J. Energy Programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, report, May 11, 1999; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc737456/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.