This one’s for all the nerds who wonder where the US gets its energy—and what it’s used for. Behold:

Click the image to get a bigger, even more succulent version. (And thanks, Matt, for the heads up.)

Some interesting factoids follow:

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    • Americans waste more energy than we use.  Cars and coal-fired power plants, in particular, produce lots of heat that serves no useful purpose (unless you try this).
    • Dang that’s a lot of oil. ‘Nuff said.
    • Where are the renewables? Besides hydro, there’s a bit of biomass energy, mostly used in industrial pulp-and-paper mills.  As of 2002, though, firewood was a bigger energy source than ethanol.  And wind and solar didn’t even show up in the accounting—presumably because there’s so little that it wasn’t even worth counting.

    Anyway, what I take away from all this is an awful lot of fossil fuel energy (and by extension, carbon emissions) is just plain wasted.  Some of that waste is hard to recapture, of course—but if I were thinking about an R&D program for the energy sector, I think that—given the scale of the resource—reducing or reusing waste heat in its various guises would be close to the top of the list.