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5 Non-automotive Uses for Biofuel

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Reducing the Cost of Importing Oil

An increase in the production and use of biofuels can help the U.S. reduce its reliance on imported oil.
An increase in the production and use of biofuels can help the U.S. reduce its reliance on imported oil.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

In 2009, 24 percent of the energy consumed in the United States was imported. Most of that energy -- 84 percent -- came in the form of petroleum. The United States consumed 22 percent of the world's petroleum in 2009, and produced 11 percent [source: U.S. Energy Information Administration].

Nonetheless, despite a skyrocketing increase in oil consumption since 1980, the country started to see decreases in 2006. Biofuels are the greatest component in that reduction, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The agency reports that renewable energy consumption has risen steadily -- 15 percent since 2007.

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Analysts say that the key is not so much to replace imports with biofuels and other forms of renewable energy, but to stabilize the economy in the event that the supply of imported oil is disrupted. In other words, it's not a matter of reducing how much we spend on imports, but on stabilizing the overall economy with new fuel supplies should those imports stop.

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