US: Efficiency Can Reduce Energy Use By 30%, Coal Dependence By 60%

  • Published on February 27th, 2009

In a new study, conducted by the Rock Mountain Institute, it has been found that electricity consumption can be reduced by 30 percent through energy efficiency and coal powered power generation can be reduced by 60 percent.

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The study, which spanned across 50 states, identified five states with highest electric productivity rates – New York, Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware and California – and stated that if all other states were to adopt similar efficiency parameters are implemented in other states the whole country can save up to 1.2 million gigawatt-hours annually. The study also brought out the long-term benefits of improving the electric productivity

In 2020, if the United States can, on average, achieve the electric productivity of the top performing states today, we can anticipate a 34 percent reduction in projected electricity demand, while maintaining 2.5 percent annual economic growth.

The conclusions of this study exemplifies the importance of energy efficiency. Making investments to achieve energy efficiency is as important as investing in developing new renewable energy projects. The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is essential not only for the environment but for the economy as well but before we could lay the foundations for a renewable energy centered power grid we must optimize the use of the resources at hand.

Moving over to renewable energy sources would require huge investments especially in revamping the distribution systems. Energy efficiency is a relatively small but vital step in achieving the energy independence that President Obama has been talking about. Energy efficiency would actually help the transition to renewable energy thus saving billions of dollars in addition to billions of tonnes of carbon emissions.

The study compares the electric productivity of various states in conjugation with their gross domestic product while closely evaluating the commercial and industrial usage of energy which actually makes the report pretty complex. But steps towards energy efficiency must start from the very basics – educating users on how they can reduce their household consumption, encouraging companies to streamline and re-evaluate their activities to optimize energy use, introducing nation-wide plan to replace high energy consuming lamps with efficient and mercury-free lamps and conducting a feasibility study for future implementation of a nation-wide smart meter scheme.

Upgarding the distribution system is a costly but essential exercise and has proven itself to be a ‘make or break’ issue as far as future investments in renewable energy are concerned. In the future it may not be possible to include every community in the upgraded distribution and thus we could see coummunity or town level power generation and distribution systems as these would make far off cities self sufficient, energy efficiency wold play a vital role in that scenario.

We must act to optimize our resources as it makes perfect environmental and economic sense. During this economic recession energy efficiency is required now more than ever. Through simple but effective measures not only the wastage of energy & resources can be curtailed but carbon emissions can also be reduced without hampering economic growth.

About the Author

currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.

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  • […] US: Efficiency Can Reduce Energy Use By 30%, Coal Dependence By 60% : Red, Green, and Blue In a new study, conducted by the Rock Mountain Institute, it has been found that electricity consumption can be reduced by 30 percent through energy efficiency and coal powered power generation can be reduced by 60 percent. The study, which spanned across 50 states, identified five states with highest electric productivity rates – New York, Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware and California – and stated that if all other states were to adopt similar efficiency parameters are implemented in other states the whole country can save up to 1.2 million gigawatt-hours annually. The study also brought out the long-term benefits of improving the electric productivity […]

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