The Graph Below Gives Information From a 2008

The graph below gives information from a 2008 report about consumption of energy in the USA since 1980 with projections until 2030.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 9 Test 4 Writing Task 1.

U.S. Energy Consumption by Fuel (1980-2030)

the graph below gives information from a 2008

Sample Essay

The line graph shows information about energy use in the USA since 1980 with projections to 2030. The information is from a report published in 2008.

Overall, the U.S. had depended most on petrol and oil, and least on nuclear, solar/wind and hydro power, as its sources of energy, and this was expected to continue into the future.

Petrol and oil had remained the greatest sources of energy, with an increase of 5 quadrillion units from 1980’s 35 quadrillion units. Growth was projected to continue to approximately 50 quadrillion units in 2030.

Energy uses from natural gas and coal had been similar, both fluctuating between 16 and 25 quadrillion units. However, consumption from coal was projected to have a greater increase and by 2030 the US was expected to consume about 30 quadrillion units of energy from coal versus 25 quadrillion units from natural gas. 

Nuclear, solar/wind and hydro power each supplied only around 3 quadrillion units of energy in 1980. While the first two sources were predicted to rise slightly to roughly 7 and 5 quadrillion units respectively in 2030, the last was forecast to remain essentially unchanged. 

192 Words

When Did the Projections Start?

Many IELTS websites just took the year when they wrote the essay as the starting year of the projections, which is incorrect. The question clearly says that this is a 2008 report. This means that the report was published in 2008. Therefore, it is pretty safe to guess that the projections started in either 2008 or 2009. If the author published the report in January 2008, then the projections could well include the year 2008. However, it doesn’t matter exactly when the projections started because we don’t need to mention it in our essay. All we need to say is that energy consumption from coal was projected to increase, for example.

What Tenses to Use

The projections do not start in the year that you write your essay. Therefore, it is wrong to use the present perfect and the present simple.

✖️Overall, the U.S. has depended most on petrol and oil, and least on nuclear, solar/wind and hydro power, as its sources of energy,  and this is expected to continue into the future.

✔️Overall, the U.S. had depended most on petrol and oil, and least on nuclear, solar/wind and hydro power, as its sources of energy,  and this was expected to continue into the future.

4 CommentsLeave A Comment

  1. The given line graphs illustrates data from a report in 2008 regarding energy consumption in the USA since 1980 with predictions until 2030.
    Overall, fossil fuels had shown increases in consumption since the start of the period, with expectations for even more reliance on these fuel sources. Cleaner energy sources had accounted for considerably less consumption with predictions for a similar trend.
    Regarding fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, petrol and oil, they had seen steady increases in energy consumption since 1980. Petrol and oil started at 35 quadrillion units in 1980, then fluctuated until 2000, at which point they rose steadily with a prediction of over 45 quadrillion units by 2030. Additionally, coal followed a similar rising trend. It was predicted that it would have surpassed 30 quadrillion units by 2030. Natural gas usage demonstrated fluctuations and it would be set to level off at around 24 quadrillion units from 2020 onwards.
    In contrast, cleaner energy fuel sources all began the period at under 5 quadrillion units and showed declines in their use, with the exception of nuclear, which climbed slightly to 6 quadrillion units in 2005. With solar/wind expecting to see slight increases, Hydropower was projected to remain relatively unchanged until 2030.

  2. The graph describes information extracted from 2008 report on average amount of energy consumed by fuel in USA from 1980 to 2020 with a prediction in 2030
    Overall, the major source of energy intake, which was petrol and oil, will continue the same pattern over the period, next to it was coal and then natural gas while natural , wind/solar and hydropower will continue to be the least common,
    from 1980 to 1990, the amount of energy consumed by nuclear, solar and hydropower were relatively similar at roughly 4 quadrillion units. Then just after 1990, the figure of nuclear rose slowly to nearly 5quadrillion units and remained unchanged till 2020. The quantity taken from solar and hydropower experienced some overlapping oscillation between 1990 to 2005 at an average of 4quadrillion unit. Subsequently,

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