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

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.


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

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.


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

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.


Transportation sector job quantity impact

In the transportation sector, Reinventing Fire affects jobs in oil exploration and production, auto manufacturing, auto parts and auto repair, and hydrogen and biofuels production. The net effect on jobs from these changes is relatively small.


Changes in residential and commercial building codes, 1975–2011

Residential and commercial codes require increases in building efficiency, and can help drive the transition to a more efficient economy. Recent and significant changes to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2012 and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 90.1-2010 require decreases of 15% and 25% in energy use from a 1975 baseline, respectively.


Electric sector job quantity impact

In Reinventing Fire, the shift toward renewable power generation creates new jobs; however, these additions may be negated, as the sector is required to raise electricity rates.


Reinventing Fire carbon dioxide emission reductions

Reinventing Fire results in 2050 fossil-carbon emissions that are 82% lower than emissions in 2000. The remaining fossil-carbon emissions in 2050 come almost entirely from natural gas consumption.


Value of U.S. energy savings, 2010–2050

By Reinventing Fire, the U.S. economy can capture a net present value (2010) saving of $5 trillion. Three fourths of this value is created by changes in the transportation sector and the remaining quarter is driven by changes in the buildings, industry and electricity sectors.


Map of utilities with decoupling for electric utilities

To help encourage utilities to pursue efficiency while staying financial healthy, many regulators have changed how utilities get paid for saving energy. More than half of states have some type of cost recovery in place. Perhaps the most effective mechanism has been decoupling, which breaks the link between earnings and total energy sold, and is often combined with shared savings that fully align utility with customer incentives.


Changes in industrial energy use from transportation sector transformations

Transformations in the transportation sector will have the net effect of saving half of refining energy, cutting 2050 industrial energy use by 3.5 quads/y.


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