Where does it comes from? Where does it go?

These two questions were asked last summer here on Plugged In with respect to the energy use in the United States. Now, let's take a look at energy flows on the other side of the Atlantic - in particular the United Kingdom - and see how the two nations compare.

In the United States, the energy sector uses just under 100 quadrillion british thermal units (quads) of energy each year. Of those 100 quads, about 73% were supplied using fossil fuels (petroleum, coal, or natural gas). Almost 40% of the total energy inputs were used to generate electricity. More than one-fourth (28%) the country's total energy use was dedicated to the transportation sector, which also made up 71% of the nation's total petroleum use.

The picture is somewhat different in the United Kingdom, where 90% of primary energy flows came from fossil fuels in 2013. According to the UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the United Kingdom used just over 292 million tons of oil equivalent (11.6 quads) of primary energy in 2013. Given that the total population in the United Kingdom is roughly one-fifth of the United States, this means that the U.K. uses about around half of the energy that the U.S. does on a per capita basis.

In terms of petroleum use, almost half (48%) of the U.K.'s primary energy supply came from petroleum. The majority of this petroleum (78%) was imported, including both imported crude and refined products versus about 30% in the United States. Interestingly, more than one-fourth (26%) of crude oil in the United Kingdom (i.e. the equivalent of 83% of domestic petroleum production) was exported or sent for use in marine bunkers.

Photo credit: Graphic of US energy flows by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Graphic of UK energy flows by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).