Graph Writing # 105 - Consumption of energy in the USA since 1980 with projections

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1/ Graph Writing - Line Graph:

» You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The graph below gives information from a 2008 report about consumption of energy in the USA since 1980 with projections until 2030.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

» Write at least 150 words.

Energy consumption - the USA, 1980 with projections until 2030

Sample Answer 1:
The bar graph compares the consumption of energy in the USA from 1980 and also gives a projection of it till the year 2030. As is presented in the graph, petrol and oil were the main two sources of energy while the use of coal would increase in the coming years.

As is presented in the line graph, initially in 1980 35 quadrillion units of oil and petrol energy was consumed in the USA while 15-20 quadrillion units each of coal and natural gas was consumed. In this year less than 5 quadrillion energy got from nuclear, solar and hydropower was consumed. The consumption of all of these energy sources kept on increasing with some fluctuations. It is projected that in 2030 the consumption of petrol and oil will reach to over 50 quadrillion units while coal and natural gas’s consumption will reach from 20 to 30 quadrillions. The consumption of nuclear, solar/ wind and hydropower will also increase and would reach to over 5 quadrillion units.

In 2030, oil and petrol would be mostly consumed to get energy while in the second most consumed energy source would be coals.


Model Answer 2:
The line graph depicts information about utilisation of energy in the USA since 1980 with predictions until 2030. In general, petrol & oil and coal accounted as high units of fuel consumption in 1980 and will be increased until 2030. In contrast, nuclear, solar/wind and water power were less favourable fuel consumed since 1980 and will be less chosen until 2030.

Looking at the details, petrol and oil reckoned about 35 quadrillion units in 1980 and was true as the highest fuel use at the time and has gone up gradually to about 40 quadrillions in 2015 and will increase to more than 45 quadrillions in 2030. The same trend is true for coal resources. The coal consumption was about 16 quadrillion units in 1980 and the figure levelled up through the observed years and is projected to hit the figure of 30 quadrillion units in 2030. Natural gas utilisation seemed fluctuated over observed years and it points about 20 quadrillion unit in 2015. However, it is predicted to level off until 2030.

In contrast, nuclear, sun/ wind, and hydropower kept small quantities of fuel consumption compared to other fuel sources as they are projected to a tiny amount of fuel utilisation in 2030. Nuclear use was about 4 quadrillion units in 1980 and in 2030 the figure will hit only about 7 quadrillion units. Solar and hydropower also amassed about 4 quadrillions in 1980 and in 2030, the consumption will be only about 5 quadrillions for solar and hydropower will remain the same figure like it was in 1980.

[ Written by - Linda ]

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The line graph illustrates changes in energy consumptions in the United States from 1980, and it also gives projection till the year 2030.

Overall, US power sectors are petrol and oil-oriented, while coal and natural gas were and will be the second and third-biggest energy sources respectively throughout the periods. In contrast, nuclear power, though not common in these days, will be used more in the future by the Americans as an energy source.

As is observed, petrol and oil played an essential role in America’s energy demand, accounting for 35 quadrillions (35q) in 1980, and raised considerably to 41q in 2005. It is expected that the figure will reach 47q in 2030. Again, consumption of energy derived from coal and natural gas was and will be similar over the fifty years. From 20q and 16q respectively in 1980, natural gas as an energy source showed an initial fall and coal in this regards showed a gradual increase. However, coal is predicted to produce more energy (31q in 2030) for the Americans than that of natural gas (about 25q unit). Finally, in 1980, energy from nuclear, water, and solar/wind power was equal at only 4q. It is predicted that the use of nuclear power as an energy source will reach to around 10q unit in 2030 which would be more than that of energy produced from solar and hydropower in combination.

Nurmu Khamed
The line graph compares energy consumptions in the United States commencing from 1980 and gives a forecast until 2030.

Overall, the consumption of petrol and oil in the US was far higher and will remain higher than other sources of energy, and the demand for nuclear, solar and wind power will increase in the future.

While the figures for energy usage fluctuated over the period, it is evident that petrol and oil provided most of the energy needs. Hydropower, on the other hand, had the lowest rate of consumption for the majority of the period. Petrol and oil use was about 35 quadrillion in 1980 and it will go up gradually to about 47 quadrillions in 2030. In 1980, the consumption of coal was 15 quadrillion and 20 for natural gas. Over the whole period, there were fluctuations between these 2 sources and by the year 2030, the use of coal will increase to 31 units, while the figure for natural gas will reach 25 quadrillions. The usage of nuclear, solar/the wind and hydropower was 4 quadrillions in 1980 and first two are expected to surge slightly to about 6, 5, respectively, while predictions on hydropower energy will fall to 2 units.

The line chart shows information about the energy consumptions in the USA since 1980, and also its projection till 2030.

Overall, it can be seen that the consumption of petrol and oil, coal and natural gas increased gradually, while the use of nuclear, solar/the wind and hydro-power remains almost steady throughout time.

Looking at the details, consumption of petrol and gas rose significantly to around 50 quadrillion units (QU) over the period, which was the biggest in six categories. The figure natural gas began at about 20 (QU) in 1980, then there was a steady fluctuated in 2014. After that, it is estimated at just around 25 (QU) in 2030. However, coal use had seen considerable growth to just over 25 (QU). In comparison, energy production by nuclear horsepower advanced slightly to nearly between 5 (QU) and 10 (QU) in 2005, thereafter, this trend unchanged till 2025 and the figure is projected at around 7 (QU) in 2030. Similarly, the consumption of solar/wind fluctuated gradually to approximately 5 (QU) in 2010. Following this, it will go up to just under 10 (QU) in 2030. Hydro-power started at about 5 (QU) in 1980, having increased negligibly to just above 10 (QU) in 2012 and there was a gradual decreased in 2010.