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        The Math of Energy | Annual Energy Usage

        In 2011, the United States consumed roughly 288 billion gallons of oil, 24 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, 1 billion tons of coal, and 17 quadrillion BTUs of energy from sources such as nuclear power and renewable energy.  All of these data can be converted to common units using the chemical energy contained in each fuel and conversion factors.  315 million Americans consumed nearly 100 quads of energy in 2011.  The average annual per-capita energy consumption is defined as the total amount of energy consumed by a country in a given year divided by the population of that country.  Using these data, we calculate the average energy consumption for each American in 2011 and compare the result with the average energy consumption for a Chinese person in 2011.


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