Source: Energy Information Administration. Renewables include biomass.
Primary Energy Production by Source, United States, 1850-2016
The evolution of energy sources in the United States is illustrative of the main technological and economic energy transitions. While historically biomass was the dominant source of energy, it was quickly replaced by coal in the late 19th century as the United States underwent its industrial revolution. In the early 20th century the development of the internal combustion engine was associated with the use of petroleum. The United States became the world's leading oil producer, a rank it will hold until the 1970s when domestic petroleum production started to decline due to the exhaustion of many large oil fields. The production of natural gas followed a similar trend, but its main uses were for power generation, industrial (process heating) and residential (heating) uses. Although natural gas production declined in the 1970s, this decline was not as extensive as of for oil since natural gas reserves were more abundant. In the 2010s an important shift in energy production took place. The diffusion of oil shale extraction technologies led to a surge in domestic petroleum and gas production. Concomitantly, coal production experienced a sharp decline as shale natural gas and petroleum became more available. Renewables (solar, wind, biofuels) started to play a growing role in 2000s and surpassed nuclear power by 2010. It remains to be seen to what extent the recent shift in energy transition in the United States involving a growth in natural gas and oil production is a long term process or a more limited commercial opportunity made available because of technological and market changes.