Sunday, February 17, 2013

Obama and the reinvention of the energy efficiency

Sunday, February 17, 2013
The energy efficiency industry received a nice boost this week while President Barack Obama on the State of the Union. Obama calls for cutting energy consumption by half in the next 20 years.

Such attention is an important point in the history of the energy efficiency movement. It seems to reinvent itself again, and so that should have wide appeal.

First, check how far the energy efficiency in the perception has come.

More than a decade we equated conservation with austerity measures, turned the thermostat in winter and in summer. It was called "Conservation" or the more clunky term ' demand management.'

At the beginning of the smart grid, the preservation in "Energy efficiency," a way of saving energy through technology was reinvented. No sacrifice required, energy efficiency could bring even more comfort - the lighting, the lighter on the eyes and devices that make sure that your home is cool, only when you get home.

Now we enter a third stage, which seem era "Energy productivity", where the emphasis is on the economic result of the energy efficiency: more for the money power.

"By doubling the productivity we rings going out of every dollar on energy, support the families, the improvement of the quality of their lives through the released money more either save or spend on other things" said Kateri Callahan, President of the Alliance to save energy. "

Callahan was the explanation, as new objectives, which released last week, Alliance Commission national energy efficiency policy introduced. (The Commission is run by Tom King, President of national grid and U.S. Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia.)

The Commission wants to double by the year 2030 energy productivity, or twice as much economic power for each dollar of energy to maintain. That sounds half much like Obama's call of wasted energy in 20 years. Actually, Obama's speech follows, Callahan noted: "twenty national energy experts spent a year developing a plan to double productivity of U.S. energy, and it took only a few days the White House publicly to embrace it."

What is the game?

We have improved our energy productivity for many years, if also somewhat haphazard. The advent of the computer has helped. (It takes less energy to move an electron as a car or a person.) Had we not done, these profits, according to the report, we must today, about 50 percent more energy to maintain our way of life.

Nevertheless, we are wasting much energy. The Commission proposed a series of steps on a large energy-productivity target: $270 billion of GDP for every quadrillion (quad) BTU consumed in the year 2030. To put this in perspective, we are at only about 135 billion $ per Quad now, according to the report.

Energy productivity is for economic prosperity. The report found that our energy productivity add doubling 1.3 million jobs in the year 2030 and budget of about $1000 per year savings. In addition, such productivity could increase national industrial production of $100 billion by the year 2030 according to the report.

It takes some serious work to achieve the goal. Update energy infrastructure, advanced technologies, we must educate and a favourable regulatory climate, the Commission explained to motivate consumers and Institute. These steps become hundreds of billions of dollars cost, but the potential exists to collect $1 trillion on energy savings.

It is a large undertaking, one that could substantially increase the energy efficiency industry. And there is no bad start, always a plug from the leader of the free world on national television.

ELISA Wood is a long-time energy writer whose blog a week comes to the

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