49.0 percent of the US electric power was generated at coal-fired plants. 19.2 percent was generated at natural gas-fired plants, and 1.8 percent was generated at petroleum-fired plants. So, 70% of the electricity is provided from fossil fuel sources.
Nuclear plants contributed 19.8 percent.
So, nuclear and fossil sources provides 89.9 of the electricity in the U.S.A., showing the nowadays dependence on this resources.
In other countries, with more nuclear and fossil independence, the main electricity source are renewables or includes fossil or nuclear phase-outs.
On the other hand, a sustainable growth is based on nuclear and fossil fuel-free energy, that avoids a toxic, radioactive, dirty and carbon-driven world.
Fossil dependence and Post-Carbon
Fossil energy sources includes coal, natural gas, and petroleum, out of which petroleum dependence poses the most immediate consequences due to limited supplies that may reach maximum production much sooner than other resources, see peak oil.
Petroleum dependence consists on the reliance of a nation or other entity upon the discovery, mass production, and distribution of fossil fuels and related products, frequently by another nation (i.e. OPEC) or monopolistic or oligolopolistic group, comparing petroleum extraction and refining to renewable energies, which originary sources (i.e. sun or wind) are more generally distributed on the world and for the citizens.
Political effects of oil dependence include monopolization, sociopolitical instability, geopolitical hegemony, dictatorship, terrorism and war , (see U.S. Energy Independence). Economic effects include large foreign trade deficits, inflation and impacts to other areas of the economy during increasingly frequent periods of high oil prices (i.e. see 1973 oil crisis) Health effects include asthma, lung cancer and other pollution-related diseases.
Reduction in oil dependence is impeded by financial incentives favorable to petroleum companies, large infrastructure investments, corruption and cultural inertia.
As an example, cars and vans consume 35% of Europe´s oil . In the USA, automobiles are the single largest consumer of oil (40%) and the source of 20% of greenhouse gas emissions.
Nuclear dependence and nuclear-free
Nuclear power currently has the ability to replace other forms of electricity generation, this does not include a large number of petroleum uses.
Since the beginning and renaissance of the Anti-nuclear movement and the nuclear waste, proliferation and security problems, however, there have been people who have claimed that the production of high level nuclear waste and damage done by Uranium mining is comparable to the environmental damage done by coal or petroleum.
Environmentalists say also nuclear power will not significantly cut carbon emissions anyway. Given that even under the WNA's most optimistic outlooks nuclear will only account for 18 percent of electricity demand, the amount of carbon foregone comes in at just four percent .
Because of this is proposed a nuclear phase-out and nuclear independence.
Alternatives: Energy Efficiency and Renewable energies
Due to the impact of oil on the environment limited supplies alternatives are considered; in the more or less long term, the replacement of this energy by another which is more sustainable.
Renewable energies are alternatives to fossil fuels in the production of electricity. Other technologies may allow them to replace petroleum in transportation.
Also renewable energies are not vulnerable due to centralisation.