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7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 14 May 2009, 23:08:28

7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

. . . . that by the end of 2008 energy efficiency investments had slashed United States energy consumption (as measured per dollar of economic output) to half of what it was in 1970, from 18,000 Btus to about 8,900 Btus; in one year alone such investments are estimated to have generated approximately 1.7 quads of energy savings.


. . . . that Americans are now using public transit at record levels but if they used it at the same rate as Europeans – for roughly 10% of their daily travel needs – the U.S. could reduce its dependence on imported oil by more than 40%, nearly equal to the 550 million barrels of crude oil imported from Saudi Arabia each year.


http://www.mnn.com/technology/gadgets-electronics/blogs/7-amazing-facts-about-energy-efficiency
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby kpeavey » Fri 15 May 2009, 07:09:21

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--for ever."
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 15 May 2009, 22:04:14

Jevons Paradox is sometimes used to argue that energy conservation is futile. For example, that more efficient use of oil will lead to increased demand, and will not slow the arrival or the effects of peak oil. This is usually presented as a reason not to increase fuel efficiency (if cars are more efficient, it will simply lead to more driving).

Several points can be raised against this argument. First, in the context of a mature market such as for oil, the rebound effect is usually small, and so increased efficiency usually reduces resource use.[4][6][7] (However, fuel use may still increase because of faster economic growth.) Second, even if increased fuel efficiency does not reduce the total amount of fuel used, this ignores other benefits associated with increased fuel efficiency. For example, increased fuel efficiency may mitigate the price increases, shortages and disruptions in the global economy associated with peak oil. Third, fuel use will decline if increased fuel efficiency is met with government intervention (e.g. a green tax, license fees, etc.) that keeps the cost of use the same.[5] By mitigating the economic effects of government intervention designed to promote ecologically sustainable activities, efficiency-improving technological progress may make the government intervention more palatable, and more likely to be implemented.


It appears from my post that energy consumption has decreased in US since 1970. Fuel consumption has not changed that much during the last 2 decades, and is the lowest in the world for reasons given below. From what I can gather, California is starting to change this. Federal standards are likely to follow.

Weight matters - on fuel efficiency and vehicle weight

It turns out that fuel efficiency in the US, measured in miles per gallon, did not improve in the last two decades. Yet in that same period, manufacturers pushed heavier, more powerful cars onto the market. In fact, the consumption of gasoline per vehicle weight improved dramatically. In terms of consumption per vehicle weight, the US fleet is as good as any other region in the world [2]. Instead, the bad overall mileage is related to the high number of heavy tank-like vehicles on the streets. By 2008, more than half of all vehicle purchased in the US were SUVs or light trucks (the trend is currently changing though). So in effect, additional weight consumed all the technological improvement.


http://environmentalresearchweb.org/blog/2009/05/weight-matters---on-fuel-effic.html
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby Graeme » Sat 16 May 2009, 02:14:27

Efficiency can help us reach energy independence

Recently, a coalition of 35 state treasurers, comptrollers, investors and other asset managers urged Congress to set national goals for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Because every dollar invested in energy efficiency saves consumers roughly $4, a national goal for energy efficiency will save money.

McKinsey and Co., a global energy consulting firm, estimates that energy efficiency can offset more than 80 percent of increased electricity demand in the United States by 2030. This is an important opportunity, and Congress is poised to make sure our nation takes advantage of it.

Congress is considering an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard that will reduce electricity usage 15 percent and natural gas usage 10 percent by 2020. EERS encourages energy efficiency by setting a national standard for energy savings and giving states the flexibility to determine how best to achieve them.

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy says that an EERS will create 260,000 net jobs and save utility customers more than $140 billion.


http://www.ajc.com/services/content/printedition/2009/05/15/speired0515.html
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby yesplease » Sat 16 May 2009, 07:11:07

kpeavey wrote:See also: Jeavon's Paradox
I recommend reading the sources at the bottom. We haven't seen Jevons Paradox in a century give or take a decade.
Under certain circumstances, the rebound effect could actually turn an increase in efficiency into an increase in demand. However this has only happened in very special cases such as in some developing countries or in new markets such as the coal market in the mid 1800s or the electricity market in the early 1900s.
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby Graeme » Sun 17 May 2009, 06:10:04

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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby nobodypanic » Sun 17 May 2009, 19:42:58

yesplease wrote:
kpeavey wrote:See also: Jeavon's Paradox
I recommend reading the sources at the bottom. We haven't seen Jevons Paradox in a century give or take a decade.
Under certain circumstances, the rebound effect could actually turn an increase in efficiency into an increase in demand. However this has only happened in very special cases such as in some developing countries or in new markets such as the coal market in the mid 1800s or the electricity market in the early 1900s.

well if we're talking about oil, then i'd say that that would be more like the coal market of 19th century or the electricity market of the 20th than the market for toasters, fridges, and frappuccino machines, wouldn't it?
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby Narz » Sun 17 May 2009, 20:54:03

kpeavey wrote:See also: Jeavon's Paradox

Theories are nice but they're better when they're applicable.
“Seek simplicity but distrust it”
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby Narz » Sun 17 May 2009, 20:58:17

Eating meat is a horrid waste of resources, just cutting meat consumption by 50% would free up a HUGE amount of energy.

http://www.alternet.org/story/134650/
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby yesplease » Mon 18 May 2009, 14:56:01

nobodypanic wrote:
yesplease wrote:
kpeavey wrote:See also: Jeavon's Paradox
I recommend reading the sources at the bottom. We haven't seen Jevons Paradox in a century give or take a decade.
Under certain circumstances, the rebound effect could actually turn an increase in efficiency into an increase in demand. However this has only happened in very special cases such as in some developing countries or in new markets such as the coal market in the mid 1800s or the electricity market in the early 1900s.

well if we're talking about oil, then i'd say that that would be more like the coal market of 19th century or the electricity market of the 20th than the market for toasters, fridges, and frappuccino machines, wouldn't it?
Are you blind or just cherry picking? ;) The link also includes gasoline consumption, the largest use of oil, compared to fuel efficiency improvements. The last time we saw Jevons was in the early 1900s with electricity expansion.
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 19 May 2009, 09:30:18

This article was taken from the Energy Bulletin site. I think that it is appropriate to re-post here:

'Rebound effects' of energy efficiency could halve carbon savings, says study

Using energy more efficiently might not be as effective at tackling climate change as people think, according to a new study. A team of economists has shown that so-called "rebound effects", where efficiency improvements are offset by behaviour changes, such as increasing demands for cheaper energy, could potentially slash future carbon and energy savings by half.

The rebound effect was first proposed in the 19th century but, until now, there has been very little research on how significant it might be. In the latest study, Terry Barker, of the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research, showed that if the International Energy Agency's (IEA) recommendations for efficiency measures are followed in full in the next few decades, the total rebound effect – the proportion of potential energy savings offset by changes in consumer and industry behaviour – could be 31% by 2020 and about 52% around the world by 2030.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/may/14/rebound-effects-energy-efficiency


Obama to unveil aggressive fuel standards


President Barack Obama is proposing today the highest auto fuel efficiency standards ever attempted in the United States. Burning less fuel also will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from tailpipes, saving energy and forestalling climate change at the same time.

A senior administration official told reporters last night that Obama's national program for higher Corporate Average Fuel Economy, CAFE, standards is scheduled to start in model year 2012.

If the proposal is enacted, by 2016 the fleet average requirement would be 35.5 miles per gallon, said the official, who declined to be named. Currently the CAFE standard is 27.5 mpg for cars and 24 mpg for light trucks.

The 35.5 mpg standard would be achieved four years earlier than under the current CAFE law, which requires a 35 mpg standard in model year 2020.

"The projected oil savings of this program over the life of this program is 1.8 billion barrels of oil," he said.

Under the President's proposal, "Tailpipe emissions would fall by more than 30 percent," the official said.


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/obama-to-unveil-aggressive-fuel-standards-1687534.html
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby nobodypanic » Tue 19 May 2009, 16:46:30

yesplease wrote:
nobodypanic wrote:
yesplease wrote:
kpeavey wrote:See also: Jeavon's Paradox
I recommend reading the sources at the bottom. We haven't seen Jevons Paradox in a century give or take a decade.
Under certain circumstances, the rebound effect could actually turn an increase in efficiency into an increase in demand. However this has only happened in very special cases such as in some developing countries or in new markets such as the coal market in the mid 1800s or the electricity market in the early 1900s.

well if we're talking about oil, then i'd say that that would be more like the coal market of 19th century or the electricity market of the 20th than the market for toasters, fridges, and frappuccino machines, wouldn't it?
Are you blind or just cherry picking? ;) The link also includes gasoline consumption, the largest use of oil, compared to fuel efficiency improvements. The last time we saw Jevons was in the early 1900s with electricity expansion.

i asked you about your thoughts on my opinion about the oil market, not the gasoline market vis-a-vis fuel efficiency gains. and anyway, as far as i know, since the '75 CAFE standards, while the ICE gained about 34% in efficiency, gasoline consumption rose by something like 90% by the '90s.

now i get that you might be a touch sensitive considering that you're surrounded around here :lol:, but since you decided to throw a salvo at me for asking you a question, yeah, i was blinded alright, by tears of laughter. :P
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby yesplease » Wed 20 May 2009, 00:00:37

nobodypanic wrote:i asked you about your thoughts on my opinion about the oil market, not the gasoline market vis-a-vis fuel efficiency gains.
Gasoline is the driver of the oil market, at least here, so looking at it gives a good overview of the market as a whole. Since there aren't many comprehensive looks into the efficiency of oil use overall, that makes it a bit harder to quantify, but at at least we can also look at oil as a whole. Before focusing on efficiency improvements, oil consumption was at about 19mbpd back in the late seventies, and right now it's at about 19.5mbpd. Population has increased by over thirty percent, as has stuff like vehicle size and the like, so that means any increases in efficiency seen have not increased consumption, but instead decreased it.
nobodypanic wrote:and anyway, as far as i know, since the '75 CAFE standards, while the ICE gained about 34% in efficiency, gasoline consumption rose by something like 90% by the '90s.
As far as you know? You may want to go a bit farther in terms of knowing. ;) Total gasoline consumption rose by about 10+% from 75 to the mid-90s, and gasoline consumption per capita fell, all while automobiles increased in size and power. If Jevons paradox had held, then gasoline consumption should have increased beyond the increase in vehicle size and population, since the efficiency gains should have pushed per capita consumption higher, but they didn't.
nobodypanic wrote:now i get that you might be a touch sensitive considering that you're surrounded around here :lol:, but since you decided to throw a salvo at me for asking you a question, yeah, i was blinded alright, by tears of laughter. :P
Tears, ignorance, whatever ya wanna say buddy, it's all gud. ;)
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 20 May 2009, 10:16:41

Energy efficiency savings offset cap-and-trade costs

As the Obama Administration and Congress consider approaches to promote clean energy and reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) in the electricity sector, a coalition of advocacy groups released a report in late April countering industry claims that carbon cap-and-trade legislation will be too costly for consumers. The report suggested energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy standards will make cap-and-trade legislation affordable, create 300,000 jobs by 2025 and save consumers more than $200 billion.

The report supports proposals contained in the Waxman-Markey (Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Edward Markey, D-Mass.) draft of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 before Congress, which combines energy and climate legislation in one bill taking a three-pillar approach. An Energy Efficiency Resources Standard would reduce electricity usage by at least 15 percent and natural gas usage by at least 10 percent by 2020. A renewable electricity standard would increase renewable energy production to at least 20 percent by 2020. And a global warming cap would cut GHG emissions by at least 35 percent below current levels by 2020 and by at least 80 percent by 2050.


http://www.biomassmagazine.com/article.jsp?article_id=2699
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby Ludi » Thu 21 May 2009, 10:19:58

Graeme wrote:It appears from my post that energy consumption has decreased in US since 1970. Fuel consumption has not changed that much during the last 2 decades, and is the lowest in the world for reasons given below.



That seems very confusing and misleading to me. The US is not the lowest user of fuel in the world, nor has our use decreased over the decades. The US uses a disproportionate share of resources compared to most of the rest of the world.
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby Graeme » Mon 25 May 2009, 20:40:55

Ludi, I was referring to this chart:

Image

In terms of mpg, that is the case. That is fuel consumption, not total amount of fuel. You are also right that the US does indeed use a disproportionate amount of fuel.

I want to add this important announcement:

President Obama says energy cuts are key to saving the planet

A global drive to improve energy efficiency will be the centrepiece of President Obama’s strategy for fighting climate change, the US Energy Secretary has said.

An international initiative to cut the amount of energy used by buildings and vehicles is as important to reducing carbon emissions as clean energy generation, and will be more achievable in the short term, Professor Steven Chu says.

“The quickest and easiest way to reduce our carbon footprint is through energy efficiency,” he writes. “Energy efficiency is not just low-hanging fruit; it is fruit that is lying on the ground.”
He calls for a worldwide investment in green building design to slash the energy needs of homes and businesses. This would also reduce the cost of energy to consumers and create jobs and opportunities to boost economic growth.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6361436.ece
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 29 May 2009, 18:48:29

The man who could change the world

America has been slow to respond to climate change, but its new Secretary of Energy, Nobel prizewinner Steven Chu, is determined to make up for lost time. He calls on fellow scientists to step up to the plate.

We are also making a big investment in the efficiency of homes and commercial buildings – both improving the buildings we already have and learning how to design and construct new ones in a much more energy efficient and cost effective way. I believe building design is an area that is ripe for international collaboration. By working together, we can give engineers and architects the tools to design buildings that use 80 per cent less energy than today’s buildings. And because buildings are inherently local, collaboration would not cede the competitiveness of any nation and would actually drive local job creation.

As we take these steps to reduce our energy use, we need to increase dramatically the generation of energy from clean and renewable sources.



http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article6382117.ece
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 03 Jun 2009, 18:15:37

Labor of Lovins

What are the easiest ways for Americans to do what you propose: boost energy and financial efficiency?

The best known one is to unscrew an incandescent bulb and put in a compact fluorescent — you get the same light, it uses five times less electricity, and it lasts about ten times longer. And next time you’re going to buy a household appliance, get the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s [aceee.org] guide to the most energy-efficient appliances; you can get them two or three times more efficient than normal, and typically they don’t cost more.


http://www.mnn.com/the-home/building-renovating/stories/labor-of-lovins
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 26 Apr 2018, 12:57:51

Graeme wrote:
Weight matters - on fuel efficiency and vehicle weight

It turns out that fuel efficiency in the US, measured in miles per gallon, did not improve in the last two decades. Yet in that same period, manufacturers pushed heavier, more powerful cars onto the market. In fact, the consumption of gasoline per vehicle weight improved dramatically. In terms of consumption per vehicle weight, the US fleet is as good as any other region in the world [2]. Instead, the bad overall mileage is related to the high number of heavy tank-like vehicles on the streets.


http://environmentalresearchweb.org/blog/2009/05/weight-matters---on-fuel-effic.html


(Red font above mine, for emphasis).

And here we are in 2018, with further ongoing signs that the US CAFE standards increases are largely being counter-acted by a strong majority of consumers moving to heavier, less efficient SUV's and trucks -- and that trend expected to continue as sedan models are discontinued.

CAFE standards won't help much if we're driving battle-tanks (yes, that's an exaggeration, but relatively speaking on a fuel efficiency scale) instead of Priuses. And with the absolute number of ICE's still increasing strongly globally on an annual basis, it will be a long time before the adoption of BEV's makes up for this.

And this is happening with FF prices well into a strong upswing, with lots of signs that trend may well persist for quite a while.

So is it really the end of cars in North America?

From the way Detroit's major executives are talking, it would seem so.

...

By 2022, almost 73 percent of all consumer vehicle sales in the United States are expected to be utility vehicles of some sort, and about 27 percent will be cars, according to auto industry forecasting firm LMC Automotive.


Again, red font in the final statement mine, for emphasis.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/26/ford-is ... ehind.html
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: 7 amazing facts about energy efficiency

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 26 Apr 2018, 14:33:05

That's true, we use vehicles to transport not only ourselves but freight, goods, and groceries. I take both of my Jeeps to the grocery store, the big box store, and the home center, and load them with goods. I also use them for personal transport, just my own carcass. Technically, my big-tired, lifted, modified Jeep is a small SUV, with the emphasis on "utility", and it excells in the most difficult terrain on the planet:
Image
That does not mean that it makes financial sense for me to own a more fuel efficient vehicle, when I am driving less than 1000 miles annually. I have decided to never buy another ICE vehicle, although the wife may get one. I'll eventually own at least one car-type EV for getting around on highways. I am seriously considering an electric bicycle for Nantucket, because the tourist road traffic does in fact constitue a huge obstacle, on an island with no stoplights.
Image
Just perhaps one of these electric tricycles would carry more groceries, depends on whether or not I would be cited for using one on the bike paths:
Image
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