Energy 2030 Reports
The Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy (the Commission) used the following research reports to guide its policy recommendations on how to double U.S. energy productivity by 2030. The full reports and report summaries are available via the links below.
These research reports provide an organized source of existing literature on energy efficiency. Each report discusses the cross-cutting issues of investment, technology, human behavior, and government as they relate to opportunities and challenges of increasing energy productivity in the United States; each report also includes a collection of best-practice case studies. Ultimately, these reports will serve as the backbone to the Commission recommendations to the federal government.
The Alliance to Save Energy worked with the Commission members, designated representatives, technical advisers, an international advisory council, and other partnerships to complete these reports.
Over the past 30 years, the U.S. has made large gains in energy productivity. More specifically, the U.S. has expanded its economic output by more than three times the 1970 level, while the demand for energy and power resources grew by only 50% during the same time period.According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), three quarters of the energy required to fuel this economic growth did not stem from new energy supplies, but rather an assortment of efficiency measures.Energy efficiency policies and programs have had a substantial impact in contributing to an increase in U.S. energy productivity per unit of GDP, at 2.4 times higher than in 1949.This paper outlines the history of energy efficiency policies and programs in the U.S. to better understand how energy productivity increased over the last 40 years.
The way the United States designs and builds our cities and regions has a significant impact on the transportation resources needed to access jobs, services, recreation, friends, and family. Improving energy productivity requires more efficient cars, trucks, trains, buses, and planes, as well as some potentially "game-changing" infrastructure improvements for electric-drive vehicles that use batteries or fuel cells. Additionally, information technology is transforming the way we work, play, and communicate in exciting new ways that may have profound impacts on our economy and our consumption of energy.
Buildings account for approximately 40% of all U.S. energy use. Building efficiency in the United States represents an investment opportunity in the hundreds of billions of dollars, with resulting savings estimated as high as $1 trillion over the next 10 years – 30% of what we now spend annually on electricity. The new and existing building stock can become more efficient and productive through code adoption and enforcement, investment in efficiency retrofits, improving and standardizing technologies, and educating users.
America's economic strength is largely driven by manufacturing, with the country accounting for 21% of global activity in this sector. In addition, manufacturing accounts for 30% of all energy consumed in the United States.
New technologies, improved products and processes, energy management systems, and recovery of otherwise wasted heat and materials all offer opportunities to enhance American manufacturing energy productivity, as well as help strengthen overall U.S. economic productivity. Changes in industry structure, feedstocks, and technical efficiency must occur to improve efficiency. Information on risk and benefits, tax and depreciation rules, and management options need to be examined and evolved to promote change.
The U.S. electricity sector produces about 4 billion MWh of electricity a year. But 60-70% of the potential energy in the fuels used (coal, natural gas, etc.) is lost in converting those fuels into electricity and during distribution. Smart grid technologies offer great potential to increase the efficiency of U.S. power generation, transmission, and distribution while creating a more versatile and reliable electric power grid.
This report discusses the major efficiencies that could be unleashed with the integration of the electric grid and gas distribution infrastructure by incorporating smart grid technologies and other techniques into both systems.
It is critical to identify connections to ensure an integrated approach to policy recommendations. The interactions of sectors – transportation, buildings, and manufacturing, as well as power generation and smart grid – affect government, technology, human behavior, and investment. Sector interaction also affects infrastructure needs, expertise, and risk aversion. These cross-cutting areas have the potential to make a big economic impact across all sectors.