Energy Flow Charts:

Charting the Complex Relationships among
Energy, Water, and Carbon

Energy, Water, and Carbon Informatics

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) produced the first diagrams illustrating U.S. national commodity use in the mid-1970s. The most widely recognized of these charts is the U.S. energy flow chart. LLNL has also published charts depicting carbon (or carbon dioxide potential) flow and water flow at the national level as well as energy, carbon, and water flows at the international, state, municipal, and organizational (e.g., Air Force) level. Flow charts, also referred to as Sankey Diagrams, are single-page references that contain quantitative data about resource, commodity, and byproduct flows in a graphical form. These flow charts help scientists, analysts, and other decision makers to visualize the complex interrelationships involved in managing our nation’s resources.

In the news

"Americans move to more solar and wind power in 2021" LLNL news release, April 11, 2022.

"Carbon emissions, energy flow charts for all U.S. states" LLNL news release, July 28, 2020.

"Everything You Need to Know About the Energy Flowcharts"YouTube, May 2020.

"Americans used less energy in 2019"
LLNL news release, April 8, 2020.

"U.S. energy use rises to highest level ever"
LLNL news release, April 11, 2019.

"Americans used more clean energy in 2016"
LLNL news release, April 10, 2017.

"Americans used less energy in 2015
LLNL news release, April 19, 2016.

"How to read an energy flowchart." A YouTube video

Americans using more energy according to Lawrence Livermore analysis
LLNL news release, April 1, 2014.

Energy Goes With the Flow
Science and Technology Review, September 2009.


The 2022 energy flow chart released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory details the sources of energy production, how Americans are using energy and how much waste exists. (click image to enlarge or download a PDF version).

Go to the Energy and Environmental Security Mission website for more information.