Energy efficiency

  • NAS reports show that it's much cheaper to make current systems more efficient than it is to create new energy sources Lovins, 31
  • Key targets for energy efficiency gains: transportation, buildings, agriculture, forestry Lovins, 32
  • Distributed generation is similar in metric to efficiency gains– both increased efficiency and the practice of producing power locally reduce draw on electric grid delivered energy EIA, 102
  • DoE has been setting efficiency standards for appliances and equipment since 1988 EIA, 34


  • Energy efficiency often creates a rebound/backfire effect actually leading to increased consumption. Increased energy efficiency = increased productivity of energy, thus making it cheaper to use the thing that requires energy, thus driving up demand for that thing [Owens, 120][Owens]

Ground transportation

  • Several states have policies in place requiring domestic manufacturers to produce a specific percentage of ZEV's and TZEV's in the coming years. The targets look aggressive, but the effect is likely not so big since we import a lot of our passenger vehicles EIA, 22
  • Long-haul truckers often leave diesel engines in during mandatory 10h rest periods to power "hotel load". Better if they use Auxiliary Power Units and switch off the engine. Lovins, 138

Commercial buildings

  • Efficiency in lighting is expected to improve 70% over the 2015-2040 period as buildings (commercial, industrial, residential) switch to LED and other efficient light sources EIA, 103
  • Total energy delivered to commercial buildings is expected to decrease over 2015-2040 despite growth of commercial floorspace. This is driven by increased efficiency, specifically in lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation, as well as more efficient building codes EIA, 102
  • Commercial buildings are expected to reduce energy costs by adopting natural gas-powered microturbines, which allow for CHP EIA, 102


  • Industrial sector energy consumption is expected to increase through 2040, partly driven by the sector's high use of natural gas (and NG's low cost) EIA, 23

Residential buildings

  • Distributed generation is expected to increase substantially, heavily dependent on extension of subsidization policies in the period 2015-2040 EIA, 102
  • Lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation are expected to be the biggest efficiency gains in the residential sector through 2040 EIA, 101


  • MARPOL controls global emission standards for ships specifically in ECA's EIA, 45
  • New standards are applied to ships in three tiers based on when they were built: pre-2000, pre-2016, and post-2016. 2016+ ships have a restriction of only 20% of the NOx emissions allowed for pre-2000 ships (!) EIA, 46
  • The key technologies likely for improvements in marine exhaust are: exhaust controls (scrubbers, selective catalytic reduction), changing fuels (to MGO or LNG), engine-based controls (such as exhaust gas recirculation), and other ideas like biofuel or water injection
  • Shipping annual fuel costs can be reduced 10-35% through a skysail: effectively a kite (higher air currents) that can be used to pull ships Lovins, 143

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