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MIT Technology Review

Data Shots

August 18, 2009


59%

The proportion of Americans who support nuclear power, according to a March poll conducted by Gallup. This level of support has remained mostly unchanged over the last 15 years.


35%

The increase in the future supply of domestic natural gas over previous estimates, according to a June report from the industry-supported Potential Gas Committee. Natural gas produces 43 percent less carbon per watt than coal, so turning to this energy source may allow electric utilities to meet emission restrictions without investing in renewable technologies.

15.7%
The portion of electricity generated from renewable sources in the European Union. The U.S. is not expected to approach this level until 2030. Most of Europe’s growth in renewable electricity comes from wind power and plants that burn biomass, such as wood and other plant material.

$100.7 million
The 2010 budget’s cut in spending to the U.S. Department of Energy’s research program for hydrogen fuel cells. The $68 million remaining on the program’s budget line must now be shared with other types of fuel-cell research–but Congress may yet intervene and restore funding.

60,000 metric tons
The amount of spent nuclear fuel awaiting geological disposal by the U.S. government. The only planned repository, Yucca Mountain, was scrapped earlier this year by the Obama administration.