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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.


Primary energy consumption in U.S. industry

Energy use for U.S. industry is conventionally projected to grow from 24.4 quads in 2010 to 30.5 quads in 2050.

In 2010, more than four-fifths of energy use in U.S. industry came from fossil fuels. Natural gas is the dominant source of energy (~35%).


U.S. biomass consumption, 2010-2050

In Reinventing Fire, non-cropland biomass provides 16 quads of primary energy in 2050. That’s six times today’s biomass consumption and 60% higher than U.S. government projections extrapolated to 2050.


Biofeedstock supply curve

The 16 quadrillion BTU of biomass used in 2050 in Reinventing Fire is supplied by agricultural residue, mill residue, dedicated energy crops, municipal solid waste and forestry residue. No cropland or edible feedstock is required.


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.


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.


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.


Biomass process flow for advanced cellulosic ethanol process

There are different types of biofuels as well as processes to create them. RMI analysis uses the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s cellulosic ethanol process from corn stover as the basis for processing biofuels for the transportation sector.


Fuel–switching options in industry

With current fuel prices, most coal and oil use can be switched to natural gas for process heating needs.


Projected decline in U.S. industry sector fuel use

Net refining, efficiency and CHP savings can reduce industrial sector primary energy use 27% below the 2050 “business-as-usual” forecast despite 84% higher industrial production.


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