This chart by Lawrence Livermore shows that 58.1 out of 95.1 Quads of the energy consumed in the US is wasted (rejected), that’s over 60%. For perspective, the one Quad equivalent for gasoline is 8,007,000,000 Gallons (US).
This is a great chart to get the big energy picture for several reasons. First on the left hand column you see all the different fuel sources used in the US. Do you see how low the renewable percentages are? The next thing to observe is what fuel source is used for what application, you can follow the lines running from left to right to understand that.
The fuel sources consumed are over 80% fossil fuel. Renewables are mostly used for electricity generation and are dwarfed by coal, natural gas and nuclear. The percentage of rejected energy with regard to renewables is even higher because of their intermittent nature.
“This surprisingly large amount of waste represents a huge opportunity for the businesses that can profitably reduce rejected energy, these companies will be hugely successful and will slow the rate of fossil fuel consumption and reduce pollution while doing so. “
Estimated US Energy Use Chart Courtesy of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the DOE