ENERGY CONSUMPTION The United States of America uses more than one fifth of the world’s resources. Energy consumption doubled between 1952 and 1972 and although consumption has slowed it continues to rise at an alarming rate. In the 1940’s the U.S.A exported fuel but by 1952 it was importing large amounts of oil and coal. Since 1981 the cost of fuel imports has been over 75 billion a year. The U.S.A is now being forced to mine oil and natural gases in places like deep-sea basins. Only 6 % of Americas consumption is environmentally friendly this includes wind, solar and hydroelectric. A further 8% is nuclear which has the advantage of being much cheaper to produce than other forms of energy. However the consequences of nuclear accidents mean that nuclear power is a riskier proposition. This is shown in accidents such as Three Mile Island (march, 1979) which cast doubt on the safety of nuclear energy. The U.S.A uses oil for 39% of its resources and as it has its own oil field this makes oil and petrol very cheap.
The U.S.A also uses large amounts of coal and natural gases these are all non-renewable sources. On top of that the U.S.A produces 150 million tons of solid waste a year making its energy consumption a huge environmental problem. America’s over usage problems affect individuals as well as the nation as a whole. Due to an excessive use of cars, processed food and the like over 57 million people in America are obese, this is roughly the population of England and the figure is rising alarmingly quickly. Japan does not use much energy compared to the U.S but taking its size into account its consumption is large. As it has few resources of its own it is forced to import a lot of what it uses (apart from wind, solar etc). In 1989 Japan used 114 million tons of coal out of this 102 million tons were imported. The Japanese population is concentrated in small areas. This makes energy usage much more practical and easy to manage than a country as spread out as America.