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Liam Denning

The Energy Revolution Will Be Optimized

As technology and greater efficiency dramatically change America's energy mix, how does a once-wood-powered country adapt for the future?
Pretty sure the colonials didn't see solar-powered planes coming.

Pretty sure the colonials didn't see solar-powered planes coming.

Photographer: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

Once upon a time, a new country called the United States of America burned a lot of wood without much to show for it.

Quite a lot has changed since that chop-baby-chop era: In 2016, America consumed almost 400 times as much energy as it did in 1776, according to Department of Energy estimates, and you'd scarcely find a twig in the mix now: