Sunday, September 23, 2018

Energy Efficiency Can Address Climate Change, Drive Prosperity, and Strengthen National Security

New paper by award-winning American physicist, Amory B. Lovins, reveals energy efficiency as a bigger, cheaper resource than expected.

Energy Efficiency (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
Distinguished American energy expert Amory Lovins Tuesday published what may be the most important findings for climate change since Lord Nicholas Stern published “The Economics of Climate Change” in 2007.

Current climate change thinking argues that the world has to use energy at least 3% more productively each year in order to stay below 2 degrees.  Amory Lovins argues that the world’s ability to sustain such rapid savings (slightly above the 2015 peak of 2.8%/y) is far greater—and can prove even more profitable—than had been thought.

In the paper, titled How Big Is the Energy Efficiency Resource?, Lovins shows that the potential for energy efficiency has been massively understated and its cost overstated, by analyzing not whole buildings, vehicles, and factories, but only their individual parts, thus missing valuable ways to help the parts work together to save more energy at lower cost.  Lovins shows a pathway to staying well below 2 degrees is more achievable that any current climate scenarios assume or suggest.

“In the same way that no one expected the cost of solar and wind to plummet, driving faster adoption that cuts their cost further,” Lovins explained, “we have overlooked the ability of modern energy efficiency to do the same thing.”

The paper cites strong empirical evidence that the scope for energy efficiency is actually severalfold larger and cheaper than had previously been thought.  Unlike renewable energy, whose cost has plunged in the past decade, energy efficiency had been assumed to cost more as the cheapest methods are exhausted.  This widespread assumption, based on economic theory not engineering practice, was overturned by an Editorial published Tuesday in the respected peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research Letters.

Read more at Energy Efficiency Can Address Climate Change, Drive Prosperity, and Strengthen National Security

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