Energy productivity could double with significant macro environmental and economic benefits through stepped-up efficiency programs during the next two decades, according to a report by a national nonpartisan commission headed by Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and National Grid U.S. President Tom King.
The Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy report concludes that doubling energy productivity would reduce U.S. carbon emissions in 2030 to levels that are 33% below their 2005 level.
Calling it a “huge, largely untapped opportunity,” the head of the Environmental Defense Fund and a member of the commission, Fred Krupp, said the coalition recommendation to greatly increase efficiency would reduce wasted energy, help the environment and save citizens money.
The recommendations constitute an “aggressive goal” that will require new investment, regulatory reform and education related to the nation’s energy delivery and use, said Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, another commission participant.
Recommendations call for sgnificant investment in energy productivity throughout the U.S. economy seeking more than $1 trillion dollars of energy savings; modernizing regulations and infrastructure to achieve energy productivity goals in building, equipment and vehicles; and educating consumers, workers, business executives and government leaders.
Some of the ways the report suggests that this increased productivity can be achieved are through making more financing available for efficiency projects, comprehensive federal tax reform, government-led examples and competition, improving corporate energy management and transparency, and training consumers and technicians.
Some of the benefits from a national coordinated effort, the commission contends, would be an additional 1.3 million jobs, average annual household energy bill reductions of $1,000, and annual savings for U.S. businesses of $169 million. Part of the vision outlined would create new routes for clean energy investment at what would be “attractive terms, relying solely on private third-party financing.”
The report projected increases in gross domestic product of up to 2%, decreasing energy imports by more than $100 billion annually, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 33%.
Co-chairs Warner and King said the commission recommendations are the byproduct of a wide range of policy and technology considerations, all of which are designed to “increase our energy productivity and allow us to get more return from our nation’s energy dollar.”
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