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Energy Use in the United States

  • First Electric Automobile Invented

    First Electric Automobile Invented
    A Vermont blacksmith, Thomas Davenport, the inventor of the first American DC electrical motor, installed his motor in a small model car, which he operated on a short circular electrified track.
  • Thomas Edison Invents the Light Bulb

    Thomas Edison Invents the Light Bulb
    First successful test of the light bulb with a carbon filament. It lasted 13.5 hours.
  • First Electricity Plant Opened

    First Electricity Plant Opened
    The first power plant that commercially generated electricity was built and opened. Electricity began flowing to paper mills and some homes within a one-mile radius of the plant on this day.
  • First Hydroelectric Plant Opened

    First Hydroelectric Plant Opened
    The first Edison hydroelectric power plant, the Vulcan Street Plant, began operating in Appleton, Wisconsin, with an output of around 12.5 kW.
  • First Solar Cell Invented

    First Solar Cell Invented
    Charles Fritts, an American inventor, built the first genuine solar cell by covering selenium with a thin layer of gold.
  • First Wind Turbine Built

    First Wind Turbine Built
    Charles F Brush, an American inventor, built the first automatically operated wind turbine for electricity production in Cleveland Ohio.
  • Hoover Dam is Completed

    Hoover Dam is Completed
    The Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River on the border between the US states of Arizona and Nevada. It is one of the largest sources of hydroelectricity in the world.
  • First Nuclear Power Plant Opened

    First Nuclear Power Plant Opened
    The first commercial nuclear power plant in the United States, Shippingport nuclear power plant, was opened by President Eisenhower as part of his Atoms for Peace program.
  • Energy Policy Act of 2005

    Energy Policy Act of 2005
    This act, signed into law by President George W. Bush in Albuquerque, New Mexico, changed US energy policy by providing tax incentives and loan guarantees for energy production of various types.
  • American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES)

    American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES)
    This energy bill proposed a cap and trade system, under which the government sets a limit on the total amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted nationally. Companies buy or sell these permits to emit these gases (especially carbon dioxide). Over time, the cap is reduced, so as to reduce total carbon emissions.