Definition of energy efficiency

Before defining energy efficiency it is instructive to define what energy provides. Units of energy are not valued in themselves rather the economic value of energy is derived from the services that it provides keeping the lights on, heating a room or transporting goods and people to a destination. Therefore, energy efficiency is a measure of the energy used in providing a particular level of energy services. Secondly, a general paradigm in which to consider energy efficiency is not one whereby...

Energy intensity trends

Looking at general scenarios is useful to give some understanding of the role of energy efficiency for future energy requirements. But to understand the process of efficiency improvements and how they come about, we must recognize and understand why energy efficiency change does not proceed in a linear fashion. Analysis by Nakicenovic (1997) of historical technological change illustrates how economic activity undergoes paradigm shifts based on successive long waves of key technologies. The...

Innovative Energy Strategies forC Stabilization

More informal ton - www.cambridge.org 9780521807258 Innovative Energy Strategies for CO2 Stabilization The vast majority of the world's climate scientists believe that the build-up in the atmosphere of the heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide will lead to global warming in the next century unless we burn less coal, oil and natural gas. At the same time, it is clear that energy must be supplied in increasing amounts if the developed world is to avoid economic collapse and if developing countries are...

An Engineering Problem

It is essentially certain that as CO2 levels in the atmosphere increase the Earth will become warmer. The results of climate model studies indicate that a CO2 doubling would raise temperatures globally by 1.5-4.5 oC, and evidence that the Earth is already warming appears to be firm. Although climate models disagree in the details of their predictions, they nearly all predict more summer dryness in continental interiors (Houghton, 1996). It will in all likelihood be at least a decade and...

Economics of energy efficiency adoption

The discussion so far has illustrated the bumpy route of economic and operational factors that leads to new efficient technologies and stressed the importance of institutional support to create a cycle of continued use with resultant technical improvement and cost reductions. But all of these insights into the process of increasing energy efficiency lead to naught if consumers and firms do not adopt these energy efficient technologies. Of course costs play a pivotal role in the uptake of energy...

Carbonless Transportation and Energy Storage in Future Energy Systems

By 2050 world population is projected to stabilize near ten billion. Global economic development will outpace this growth, achieving present European per capita living standards by quintupling the size of the global economy - and increasing energy use, especially electricity, substantially. Even with aggressive efficiency improvements, global electricity use will at least triple to 30 trillion kWh yr in 2050. Direct use of fuels, with greater potential for efficiency improvement, may be held to...

Regional Status and Potential of Renewables to Address Climate Change

The prospects for renewable energy vary tremendously around the world. The sources of the variation are physical resources, energy requirements, economic capabilities, existing infrastructure, environmental concerns, and politics. As shown in Figures 5.1 through 5.5, renewable resources are not uniformly spread, presenting different opportunities in different countries. Similarly, fossil-fuel resources are not uniformly spread across countries. Countries with plentiful fossil-fuel supplies may...

Energy efficiency vs energy intensity

It is easy to confuse energy efficiency and energy intensity. Energy efficiency as we describe it above is a bottom-up view applied to individual activities. We describe energy intensity as a top-down or aggregated look at energy use in an economy. For consistency and clarity, the rest of this chapter will use the term efficiency for specific activities and intensity for aggregated energy use. However, the relationship between the two is far more complex and controversial than a simple...

Transition Paths Toward Carbonless Energy

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has developed a network optimization model (Figure 6.1) to examine these three stages of integrating renewables into utilities (reliability, intermittent intensive electric systems, and carbonless transportation). By constructing and analyzing model scenarios of future electricity and transportation systems attempts we quantify the Figure 6.1 Schematic of a coupled utility electric generation and transportation system using nuclear, fossil, and...

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Figure 5.10 OECD renewable energy R amp D expenditures Source Goldstein, 1999 . hydrogen production and infrastructure technologies, electric vehicles, superconductivity, storage, and hybrid configurations. Fourth, policies to address local air pollution and other environmental considerations should be structured so as to provide as much incentive to renew-ables and energy efficiency as possible. For example, the US SO2 allowance system developed under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 has...

Carbonless Energy Carriers

Electricity is the highest quality energy carrier, increasingly dominant throughout the world's energy infrastructure. Ultimately electricity use can expand to efficiently meet virtually all stationary energy applications, eliminating stationary end-use carbon emissions. This approach is unlikely to work in transportation, however, due to the high cost and low energy density of electricity storage. Chemical energy carriers, such as hydrogen, can more effectively serve transportation fuel and...

Developed vs developing countries

Although GHG emissions have historically been overwhelmingly due to developed nations, changing population and economic growth dynamics in developing countries will result in them surpassing developed nations in terms of GHG emissions by around 2030 Dowlatabadi and Oravetz, 1997 . Thus the energy intensities of these developing economies will be crucial in determining the need for carbon-free power. Unfortunately, analysis of energy intensity trends has been concentrated on the developed world,...