According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Energy Manufacturing Consumption Survey, the industrial sector used more than 30% of the total energy consumed in the U.S. in 2011. Why should you care? Because this sector includes biorefineries, manufacturing facilities that produce parts for wind turbines and solar panels and segments of the agricultural sector as well. It also includes much of what you see in a supermarket – from the food to the packaging to the shelving and cold cases to the raw materials mined and refined to produce and transport the products.
The survey, along with the most recent Annual Energy Outlook 2012 report, show that the recent economic recession strongly affected the industrial sector. It has definitely affected the entire alternative energy industry. A key initiative of biorefineries in particular has been improving energy efficiency while reducing energy consumption.