An examination of the causes and consequences of the growing demand for energy, especially electricity, in the United States. In the 1960s, the U.S. per capita consumption of energy increased 2.7 percent annually, due to growing affluence as well as growing population. In fact, the per capita consumption of energy is now increasing more than twice as fast as population. Due to the scarcity of fossil fuel resources, the current unavailability of other sources of energy, environmental problems, and our inability to finance and build the necessary facilities fast enough, we may have to devise voluntary and legal methods of reducing the rate of growth in demand for energy. To do so, we must have improved methods of forecasting demand and identifying the primary causes of demand. Correlation methods relating consumption to determinants of use are more satisfactory than extrapolation methods projecting future growth as a continuation of past growth.
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