The Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions recently released a report, Energy independence and security: A reality check, which examines whether or not energy independence is necessary to achieve energy security. Deloitte contends that the answer is probably no. The report reviews present and developing national energy policies and discusses US strategies for oil imports and use. A key conclusion is that, while US energy independence may be unattainable in the foreseeable future, energy security is a realistic and achievable goal.
The real issue is not independence from all foreign oil, the report said, but reducing oil imports from unfriendly nations, diversifying our supply of energy sources and ensuring that no nation can effectively manipulate markets against our national interests...Understanding how to reach [energy security], however, requires us to know more about our sources and uses of energyand the realities of energy supply and demand.
One section of the report breaks down the US primary energy sources and sectors. Petroleum provides the US with 36% of its energy (Fig. 2); 71% of all petroleum available is used in the transportation sector, while 23% of it goes to the industrial sector. Fig. 2 explains how the rest of the US energy sources are used.
Fig. 2. US primary energy consumption by
source and sector, 2011 (% of total energy use).
The report also acknowledges that, for most energy-consuming sectors of our economy, our supply is predominately domestic, with only transportation remaining more heavily dependent on imports. Thus, the US already has significant energy independence, at least in terms of exclusive reliance on domestic production, for much of its economy.
The remaining question, Deloitte contends, is how to make the transportation sector more independent of sharp disruptions and unfriendly sources [of energy]. HP