A measly 0.02%. That’s according to the Energy Information Administration, which notes that renewable energy sources accounted for less than one-tenth of a percent of total energy consumption in the United States in 1950. The vast majority of energy came from coal (85%), followed by oil (10.6%), natural gas (3.4%), and hydroelectric power (0.6%).
Renewables provided a tiny bit more energy in 2016 — but not much. According to the EIA, renewables accounted for only 10.1% of total energy consumption in the United States in 2016. That’s compared to coal (30.4%), oil (28%), natural gas (24%), and nuclear power (8.7%).
So, while the United States has made significant progress in diversifying its energy mix over the past few decades, it’s still overwhelmingly reliant on fossil fuels. And that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
Other related questions:
Q: What was the most common energy source in 1950?
A: In 1950, coal was the most common energy source.
Q: What percentage of energy in the US came from renewable sources?
A: In 2018, renewable energy sources accounted for about 11.2% of total U.S. energy consumption and about 17.5% of electricity generation.
Q: Which energy source has seen a decline in consumption in the United States from 1950 to 2019?
A: The consumption of coal in the United States has seen a sharp decline since 1950, thanks in part to the rise of other energy sources such as natural gas, oil, and renewable energy.