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U.S. industry energy-saving potential, 2010–2050

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_industry_energy_saving_potential
Increased adoption of energy efficient technologies as well as cogeneration and waste heat recovery systems will reduce energy use by an additional 4.7 quadrillion BTUs from business-as-usual. These and other changes (energy changes due fuel switching or transformation in other sectors) can reduce projected primary energy use by 27% in 2050.

 

U.S. oil combustion: present and projected

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_oil_combustion_transportation
The U.S. burns 13 million barrels of oil a day for transportation. Most of this oil powers cars and light trucks. By 2050, the U.S. is expected to burn upwards of 17 million barrels of oil a day for transportation alone.

 

Energy flow through a typical internal combustion engine drivetrain

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Energy_flow_through_a_typical_internal_combustion_engine_drivetrain
This chart shows why less than 0.5% of the energy in a typical modern auto’s fuel actually moves the driver, and only 5–6% moves the auto. An auto's weight is responsible for more than two-thirds of the energy needed to move it. All told, 86% of the fuel energy never reaches the wheels.

 

Estimated water withdrawals in the U.S., 1950–2005

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Estimated_water_withdrawals_in_US
In 2005, half of U.S. water withdrawals were made by the electricity sector. A “business-as-usual” U.S. electricity future will increase reliance on large thermal power plants and keep water demands high.

 

U.S. natural gas consumption

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_natural_gas_consumption
In Reinventing Fire, natural gas consumption in 2050 is reduced by 36% relative to business-as-usual. This reduction is primarily enabled by improved efficiency in commercial and residential buildings and less reliance on natural gas in the electricity sector.

 

Electricity scenarios

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Electricity_scenarios
In Reinventing Fire, Rocky Mountain Institute investigates the implications of four radically different future electricity scenarios - from a “business-as-usual” case to a network of intelligent microgrids powered largely by distributed renewables.

 

Historic and projected U.S. electricity demand, 1950-2050

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_electricity_demand
While U.S. demand for electricity has risen in all but four years since 1949, the rate of increase has been steadily trending down. The Energy Information Administration predicts an annual growth rate around +1% to 2030 (which RMI extrapolates to 2050). Successfully implementing the energy efficiency improvements in buildings and industry discussed in Reinventing Fire could reduce this to a steady –1%.

 

Historic and projected CO2 emissions from the U.S. electric sector, 1990–2050

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-CO2_emissions_from_US_electric_sector
Rocky Mountain Institute’s four scenarios for the future U.S. electricity system ( detailed here ) all have markedly different projected CO2 emissions over the next 40 years.

 

Cumulative new transmission requirements in four scenarios

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-new_transmission_required
Rocky Mountain Institute’s four scenarios for the future U.S. electricity system ( detailed here ) all have very different requirements for an expanded transmission infrastructure.

 

Estimates for combined heat and power and waste heat recovery

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Estimates_CHP_waste_heat_recovery
RMI analysis predicts a net increase of industrial combined heat and power (CHP) installations of 109 GW, split between traditional cogeneration units and waste heat recovery to electricity systems.

 

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