U.S. energy consumption is currently stalled, but only temporarily as the efficiency gains that were easiest to achieve were integrated into products. As the efficiency of a device reaches its maximum possible efficiency, it becomes more expensive to manufacture with the improve efficiency.
Eventually, buyers find the prices too high to purchase the more efficient device and the march toward efficient use of energy stalls for that product. Thus the current U.S. trend of negligible increase in consumption of utility electric will end and consumption will return to an increasing trend as its population increases.
(Math: As n (the efficiency of an energy conversion device, whether a source or a consumer of electric power) -> some theoretical efficiency limit below 1.0 created by physical properties of materials, design challenges, or economic balances, dn/dt -> 0.
The hydroelectric capacity in most developed areas are close to fully exploited. What capacity remains is usually not cost-effective to tap.
Coal and other fossil fuels (including natural gas) produce environmentally destabilizing carbon emissions when burned, something that governments and people wish to decrease rather than increase.
Risks plague deep water drilling as the list of spills continue to increase in number and negative marine impact. Even a partial dissintegration of the ocean floor could cause a catastrophy of multi-continental scale.
Nuclear reactors are expensive and difficult to locate near populated regions and the risk of a major disaster grows the closer they are to potential sites of natural disasters or as their operational life approach its obsolescence.
Photovoltaic solar panels are still very expensive, not nearly cost-competative with traditional electricity sources.
Wind power is also very expensive.
Oceanic energy sources are limited to immediate costal areas because of the unavoidable losses associated with power transmission.
Solar reduces the risk of negative atmospheric impact currently tied to powering homes and industries.
Companies like GM, Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Levi Strauss, Nike, Adidas, Unilever, Mars, Starbucks, eBay, The North Face all signed the Climate Declaration, which states in its heading, "Tackling climate change is one of Americaâ€™s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century (and itâ€™s simply the right thing to do)."
The U.S. Energy Information Administration stated in a June 15th, 2016 on aeia.gov that 1.4 trillion kWh of electricity was sold in to the residential sector in the United States during 2015. There were 124.587 million households in the United States in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's data on census.gov. The average of the median square footage of the lots of non-condominium residences sold for the first eleven years of the 21st century, using the U.S. Census Bureau's data, is 8787 square feet. The sun's insollation on a clear day is about 950 Watts per square meter, and the sun is out about 5.5 hours a day for an average day of a U.S. household.
With this data, we can estimate that the average household consumes about 30.8 KWh of electricity per day and the sun provides about 4265 HWh of direct radiant energy per day per house lot. Dividing the solar provision by the consumption, we get 138.5. Here's the arithmetic:
1400000000000.kw.h.per.year / 124587000.households / 365.25.days.per.year
8787.sq.ft.per.lot x 5.5.h.per.day x 0.950.kw.per.sq.m x 0.092903.sq.m.per.sq.ft